US PGA Championship 2023: Brooks Koepka wins third title – as it happened

Last modified: 11: 00 PM GMT+0
  • Brooks Koepka wins fifth major as Viktor Hovland suffers bunker blues
  • Club pro Michael Block makes fairytale hole in one
  • PGA Championship leaderboard

Ewan Murray was at Oak Hill, and his verdict has landed. Congratulations to Brooks Koepka, commiserations to Viktor Hovland, and thanks to Michael Block for writing a fairytale for the ages. Thanks to you too for reading these live hole-by-hole reports. Nighty night.

-9: Brooks Koepka
-7: Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland
-3: Cam Davis, Kurt Kitayama, Bryson DeChambeau
-2: Sepp Straka, Rory McIlroy
-1: Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Rose
E: Shane Lowry, Victor Perez, Corey Conners
+1: Tyrrell Hatton, Eric Cole, Michael Block
+2: Mito Pereira, Xander Schauffele, Min Woo Lee, Patrick Reed, Tommy Fleetwood

The presentation of the Wanamaker Trophy. The crowd welcome the 2023 PGA Champion, Brooks Koepka. He hoists the outsized cup into the air. Lucky he lifts. “This is incredible … this is wild … I’m just so happy right now … this is just the coolest thing … I don’t know the list of how many guys have won five times but to be with that group of names is incredible … to be honest I’m not sure I dreamed of it as a kid, winning this many … I’m just happy to do it in front of these New York fans …. I love you guys! … we got three majors in New York so it’s been a second home to me, pretty special … Oak Hill has been phenomenal!”

The presentation of the Wanamaker Trophy coming up … but beforehand, there’s the presentation to Michael Block, the low club professional for the 2023 PGA Championship. He raises his PGA-engraved vase in the air to wild cheering. “It hasn’t sunk in yet to be honest,” says Block. “It’s pretty cool.”

This is Brooks Koepka’s fifth major title. One more now than Rory McIlroy … who stops to give him a hug and, with a genuine smile, say “I’m really happy for you.” A class act. Anyway, a fifth major puts Koepka alongside some big names in golfing history: John Henry Taylor, James Braid, Byron Nelson, Peter Thomson and Seve. More elite company!

The final leaderboard

-9: Brooks Koepka
-7: Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland
-3: Cam Davis, Kurt Kitayama, Bryson DeChambeau
-2: Sepp Straka, Rory McIlroy
-1: Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Rose
E: Shane Lowry, Victor Perez, Corey Conners
+1: Tyrrell Hatton, Eric Cole, Michael Block
+2: Mito Pereira, Xander Schauffele, Min Woo Lee, Patrick Reed, Tommy Fleetwood

Koepka becomes only the third man in the match-play era to win three PGA Championships. As for the all-time list, look at this!

5: Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus
4: Tiger Woods
3: Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Brooks Koepka

That is not bad company to be keeping.

Brooks Koepka wins his third PGA Championship!

Brooks likes fast play, so he doesn’t faff about. His birdie putt doesn’t drop, but does he care? Nope! He taps in, then punches the air: “Yes! Yes!” He embraces his caddy, commiserates with Hovland, and flings his ball into the gallery. “Hell yeah! Let’s go! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

-9: Koepka
-7: Scheffler, Hovland

Brooks Koepka on the green after winning the PGA Championship.
Brooks Koepka on the green after winning the PGA Championship. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP


This final round has already served up several memorable moments, and here’s another! Viktor Hovland pours in his left-to-right curler for birdie, and though his smile is bittersweet right now, that means he’ll have a share of second place. It would have been heartbreaking for him to finish third after all of his efforts. A 68 and he ends the week at -7.

Viktor Hovland stripes one down 18. Brooks Koepka follows. Hovland knocks his second to 20 feet. Koepka pings his pin high to six feet … then walks up to receive the sort of reception his talent deserves. Love pouring down from the gallery. It’s a long way from the boos on the 1st tee box yesterday!

Block then points out another advantage of his automatic qualification next year. “It gives another PGA professional a spot, because I’m an exempt, so I’ve got another guy in, which is rad to me.” What a gentleman! Is it raining in your face too?

Michael Block speaks to Sky Sports. “My game came to Rochester which is really cool … I played my normal game … I’ve never done it for four rounds before but finally I’ve done it and that’s off my check-off list … I did not see the hole-in-one go in … I thought it may be pretty close … then Rory turns around and said ‘that went in the hole!’ … I said ‘you gotta be kidding me’ … I had no idea … zero clue … why is Rory hugging me?! … you don’t hug me for hitting it close, so then I thought ‘I think I made it!’ … for me to go back [to Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club] will be a very special thing … the money is going to be fun and great to have for my family, but I didn’t do this for the money … I’m going to go home, the happiest guy in the world!”

Hovland does extremely well to get up and down from the rough, 100 yards out. Par, while Koepka takes two calm putts for a bogey. Barring a strange meltdown, he’s one hole away from his third PGA Championship title!

-9: Koepka (17)
-7: Scheffler (F)
-6: Hovland (17)

Rory talks to Sky. “I feel sort of close but also so far away at the same time, it’s a really weird feeling … I know I need to be better.”

Wild tee shots at 17. Brooks right, Hovland left. Hovland can only hack his second further up the rough. Brooks takes his medicine and chips out. Meanwhile up on 18, Scottie Scheffler makes birdie and signs for a 65. He’s the new clubhouse leader at -7 … and with Koepka now more likely than not to bogey 17, this isn’t quite over yet. It’s nearly over. But not quite.

-10: Koepka (16)
-7: Scheffler (F)
-6: Hovland (16)

Here’s what Michael Block gets for his 70-70-70-71. He qualifies for next year’s PGA Championship. He’s earned nearly $300,000. He’s got stories to tell for the rest of his life. “You made it great,” he tells Rory McIlroy in the scorer’s hut. Then he sweetly asks someone to take a picture of him with McIlroy. A fan as well as a fantastic player.

Two putts for Viktor Hovland at 16. A double-bogey six, and he walks off knowing this is over. Brooks Koepka tidies up for his birdie. His second shot there was outstanding, worthy of winning any tournament … but Hovland’s bunker fiasco will provide the defining images.

-10: Koepka (16)
-6: Scheffler (17), Hovland (16)

Michael Block cards 71!

Michael Block sends his par putt straight at the cup. The ball threatens to stop on the edge, but it’s such a tease and it finally drops. The gallery erupts! They won’t get any louder when the winner is identified. Rory McIlroy smiles the widest smile and throws open his arms as he embraces the slightly disbelieving club professional. Block puts one hand on his heart, points at his new fans, spins around to acknowledge them all, and then gives his partner a hug. A 71 and a +1 finish. Unbelievable. A proper golfing fairytale! (Par meanwhile for Rory and a 69. He’s -2. Another near miss, but despite his disappointment, he’s clearly enjoyed Block’s company today.)


Meanwhile back on 16, a sequence unfolds that has probably decided the destiny of the Wanamaker Trophy. Hovland drops on the bank, taking his medicine by punching out into the fairway. He’s hit four, and then Koepka lashes his second to a couple of feet. That’s some proper carpe-diem golf! Hovland sends his approach straight at the flag, but he’ll be aware the jig is nearly up.

Viktor Hovland of Norway fails to get his ball out of the bunker on the 16th hole.
Viktor Hovland of Norway fails to get his ball out of the bunker on the 16th hole. Photograph: Eric Gay/AP


Up on 18, Michael Block sends his drive into rough down the right, then his second into the gallery to the left of the green. But he’s got a good lie, and he wedges crisply up the bank, over the bunker, and softly onto the green. He’ll have a ten-foot look to save par!

Hovland does exactly the same thing Conners did yesterday! He slams his iron straight into the bank, where it plugs. This is almost a frame-for-frame retelling of last night! Hovland looks ahead at his buried ball, aghast, and smiles the wryest smile of his life. He knows that could have cost him the PGA Championship; Connors ran up a double bogey yesterday. Here comes the referee to sort out where he can drop. Sport can be so, so strange sometimes. And so very, very cruel.

Viktor Hovland sends his drive at 16 into the bunker Corey Conners had so much trouble with yesterday evening. Brooks Koepka’s tee shot flies that bunker but ends up in the rough. Up on 17, Scottie Scheffler finds the green in regulation but he’s a long way from the flag. Not ideal when he’s desperate for birdies.

The crowd goes wild for Michael Block again, this time at 17. That’s after his getting down from 100 yards to scramble a par. He remains at +1. One final birdie, and he’ll be signing for his fourth round of 70. Golfing gods, make it happen!

Par for Rory (-2).

Koepka putts first. A gentle left-to-right slider. It doesn’t quite get there, and it was always destined to miss on the right, but he’s happy enough to tap home for par. Hovland’s takes a similar route, and he makes do with par as well. Meanwhile up on 16, Scheffler hits an uphill 20-foot birdie putt that never looks like dropping. Par. As you all were, then … except the leader Brooks Koepka is one hole closer to home!

-9: Koepka (15)
-8: Hovland (15)
-6: Scheffler (16)

To Block’s hole. Hovland sends his tee shot pin high, but a good 30 feet to the left. Koepka follows him there, a couple of feet further left. He’ll give Hovland a read. Meanwhile on 16, there’s the inevitable comedown for Michael Block, whose drive finds thick rough. His second flies through the back, and though he gives himself half a chance of saving par with a neat lob from the bottom of a swale, it’s a bogey. He drops to +1, but he’ll always have the 15th. He’ll always have Oak Hill.

Koepka sends a slightly clumsy putt four feet past the hole. In mitigation, he was putting through the fringe with his feet slightly down the bank. Hovland then pours in his birdie putt; that was far from a certainty. He’s refusing to allow Koepka to shake him off. Koepka makes his birdie, but not for the first time today, Hovland will be walking off a hole happy to have equalled his opponent’s score despite tee shots of vastly differing quality.

-9: Koepka (14)
-8: Hovland (14)
-6: Scheffler (15)

Brooks Koepka launches a driver at 14 onto the green. His ball thinks about toppling off, but stops on the fringe, and he’ll have a look at eagle from 20 feet or so. Viktor Hovland’s tee shot sits on the bank, from where he chips to eight feet. Meanwhile Scottie Scheffler, having parred Michael Block’s hole, crashes a drive down the middle of 16.

A birdie blitz! Corey Conners, who had fallen off the radar after bogeys at 12 and 13, rattles in a long putt on 14 to return to -2. Justin Rose sinks a tramliner on 15 to return to -2. Bryson DeChambeau follows Conners in from a much shorter distance to rise to -3. “That was a proper hole in one,” writes Adam Hirst of Michael Block’s moment of history. “The only one that I’ve ever seen. In without even a bounce, that’s how it should be done, none of that rolling around the green nonsense. Thing of absolute beauty.”

It. Is. All. Happening. Brooks Koepka elects to putt from the apron at 13. He sends his effort four feet past. A nerve-jangler. Viktor Hovland turns up the pressure by making his birdie putt. Koepka responds by rattling in the par saver. Meanwhile up on 14, Scottie Scheffler makes his birdie to stay on the leaders’ tail. (Bogey for Rory McIlroy on 15, by the way, in non-Michael-Block-related news.)

-8: Koepka (13)
-7: Hovland (13)
-6: Scheffler (14)
-3: Davis (F), Kitayama (F)
-2: Straka (F), Perez (16), McIlroy (15), DeChambeau (13)

… so while that bedlam was unfolding, Scottie Scheffler hit the flagstick at 13 before tapping home for birdie. He’s -5. Coming behind, Viktor Hovland sends his second down the middle of the fairway, then chips to 12 feet. Brooks Koepka’s wedge spins back off the front of the green, and everything feels a little psychedelic right now. Golf: bloody hell!

Did that just happen? Yes. Yes it did.

Hole in one for Michael Block!

As if the 46-year-old club pro’s story wasn’t enough of a fairytale! He sends a 7-iron from 151 yards into the par-three 15th … and his ball disappears straight into the cup! No bounce, no roll, straight into the hole without touching the sides! The crowd go ballistic, but he can’t quite process what’s happened. “Did that go in?” he asks Rory McIlroy. It takes him a while to realise he’s just aced in the most sensational manner! “No! No! No way!” Rory congratulates him warmly … then the showman in Block comes out as he writes and circles the figure 1 on his scorecard for the benefit of the CBS cameras! (“You ready for this one?!”) That truly is a moment for the ages. He’s level par!

Michael Block celebrates after his hole-in-one on the 15th.
Michael Block celebrates after his hole-in-one on the 15th. Photograph: Abbie Parr/AP


Koepka pings his drive at the long par-five 13th down the right-hand side of the fairway. Hovland pulls his viciously to the left, and the ball looks to be heading towards some concession tents. But it hits a tree and pings back into the rough. He’ll have lost plenty of distance but that’s something of a break for Hovland. But never mind that, because …

A big mistake by Rory McIlroy on 14. He drives into a bunker at the front, then splashes six feet past the flag. He gets a read from his playing partner Michael Block, whose putt from almost exactly the same spot breaks to the right. But Rory learns nothing, and his putt does exactly the same thing. Just a par on a hole where some players have been making eagle. Birdie, the more realistic goal, was necessary, though, given the state of play. He then sends his tee shot at 15 down the swale to the right of the par-three, and you’d have to say his race is run. He’s -3.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 14th tee.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the 14th tee. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images


Scottie Scheffler very nearly seriously shakes things up on 13, where he’s this close to holing out for eagle. A wedge in from 80 yards lands ten feet past the flag then spins back, almost shaving the lip. He’s happy enough with birdie, though, and he’s just two back at -5. Er, hold on, scrub that, make it three back, because on 12, Brooks Koepka makes birdie in the fuss-free fashion, wedging to ten feet and pouring in the putt. Viktor Hovland can’t match him from similar distance, and that’s a huge match-play style swing.

-8: Koepka (12)
-6: Hovland (12)
-4: Scheffler (12)

Bogeys for Bryson DeChambeau and Corey Conners on the short par-four 12th. Both punished for errant drives. Both drop to -2. Both walk off with the air of men who know that, unless something wild and wonderful is about to happen, the jig is almost certainly up.

Here comes another one of those too-little, too-late charges by Rory McIlroy! Two big bashes down 13 followed by a wedge to five feet, and it’s another birdie. He rises to -3, and yes that bold text is deliberately designed to tempt fate. Meanwhile back on 11, Brooks Koepka powers a magnificent shot out of the bunker, where he’s right up against the lip, to 12 feet. No idea how he managed to get that as close as he did! But he can’t make the par saver, which lips out on the left. A two-putt par for Hovland, and the gap at the top is once again just the one. Meanwhile par at the last for Kurt Kitayama, and he’s the latest player to shoot 65 today. He joins Cam Davis in the clubhouse lead.

-7: Koepka (11)
-6: Hovland (11)
-4: Scheffler (12)
-3: Davis (F), Kitayama (F), McIlroy (13), DeChambeau (11), Conners (11)

The monster par-three 11th is playing at 246 yards today. Brooks Koepka draws a 4-iron … and his ball dunks in the bunker front left. He’s right up against the face. Viktor Hovland elects to use a 3-iron instead, and finds the heart of the green. Koepka should be able to get his ball up and out, but how far he’ll be able to advance it is another issue altogether.

Cam Davis cards 65

Cam Davis leaves a straight birdie putt on 18 one turn short. But he’s still signing for a final round of 65, matching the feats of Cameron Smith and Sepp Straka, and installing him as the new clubhouse leader at -3.

Hovland gives his birdie effort a good run. For a while it looks like heading in, dead straight, but there’s a little right-hand turn at the end and it slides by. He smiles wryly, knowing exactly what’s about to happen. Koepka rolls in his putt for birdie, opening up a two-stroke lead, and perhaps more importantly steadying a ship that was listing ever so slightly. What moxie!

-8: Koepka (10)
-6: Hovland (10)

Brooks Koepka has been shaky for the last hour or so. But on 10 he sends in a steadier. A wedge clipped from 140 yards to six feet. By contrast, Viktor Hovland’s pin-high effort, 25 feet wide left, is distinctly average. A big chance here for Brooks to open up a cushion again at the top.

OK, so the last group has hit the turn on Sunday. That being the case … welcome to the start of the 2023 PGA Championship! Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland both hit fine drives down 10. Meanwhile a big birdie for Cam Davis on 17, reward for sending his second from 180 yards to ten feet. Back-to-back bogeys for Justin Rose, though, at 10 and 11, and at -1 his race is surely run.

-7: Koepka (9)
-6: Hovland (9)
-4: Scheffler (11)
-3: Davis (17), Kitayama (16), Conners (10), DeChambeau (10)
-2: Straka (F), Perez (13), McIlroy (12)

Viktor Hovland’s Achilles heel used to be his chipping. No longer, not today. Magical chips at 1 and 8, and now another at 9. He drops his club gently on the ball, allowing it to dink out of the rough and land softly on the green, where it works its way down towards the hole. Three feet away, and he’s even left himself an uphill par saver. In it goes, and this is some really entertaining street-fighting golf. A two-putt par for Brooks, and here’s how they hit the turn …

-7: Koepka (9)
-6: Hovland (9)

A big break for Brooks, who does indeed find himself with a decent trodden-down lie. It allows him to power an 8-iron into the front of the green, though he’ll have a long putt for birdie. Hovland then flies a 7-iron over the green. He’ll have a tricky chip back from thick rubbish, and downhill to boot, in the trademark Donald Ross style. Meanwhile a bounce-back birdie for Scottie Scheffler at 10, where Justin Rose yips a tiddler to drop a stroke, while Sepp Straka matches Cam Smith’s 65 to take the clubhouse lead.

-7: Koepka (8)
-6: Hovland (8)
-4: Scheffler (10), DeChambeau (9)
-3: Kitayama (15), Conners (9)
-2: Straka (F), Davis (16), Perez (12), McIlroy (11), Rose (10)


Are those Confidence Demons beginning to bother Brooks Koepka again? Two bogeys followed by a very conservatively played par, and now he’s sent his tee shot at 9 into the gallery down the left. A fair chance he’ll get a decent lie given it’s where the punters have been perched all week. Meanwhile Viktor Hovland splits the fairway. Up ahead, Scottie Scheffler bogeys the hole, the punishment for an errant drive. A warning for Brooks perhaps. Scheffler drops to -3.

Tyrrell Hatton signs for a 67. He ends the week at +1, and that opening round of 77 – specifically that front nine of 42 – may give him nightmares for a while. He’d have been right in the mix otherwise.

Back-to-back birdies for Rory McIlroy. He wedges his approach at 10 to six feet and rolls in the putt. He moves to -2, just five off the lead. Back on 8, Viktor Hovland again finds deep rough from the tee. He powers his second towards the green, but the ball topples into the thick stuff around the fringe. He’s not got a lot of green to work with, but fashions a lovely little dink that nearly drops for an outrageous birdie. He’ll happily take that par, though, and remains at -6. A garden-variety par for Brooks Koepka, meanwhile, to stem the bleeding. He avoids a third consecutive bogey to stay one clear at -7.

News of Michael Block. The club pro hits the turn in 37, having bogeyed 1 and 7 en route. He’s +2 and going along very nicely. Meanwhile back on 8, Bryson DeChambeau, having dropped a stroke at 7, makes bounce-back birdie to return to -4.

You wait ages for a second eagle of the week at the short par-four 14th … then a third comes along in the London-bus style. Cam Davis whistles a stunning tee shot straight at the flag, a dart to seven feet, and in goes the putt. The 28-year-old Aussie, who tied for sixth at the Players a couple of months ago, moves to -2.

Viktor Hovland hoicks a driving iron into the filth down the right of 7. Brooks Koepka splits the fairway. But then he inexplicably sends his approach wide right of the green. He’s left with an awkward shot, feet in a bunker, ball above him on a bank. His chip on is weak and he’s left with a 40-foot putt for his par. He can’t make it, and that’s a bogey. Meanwhile Hovland was forced to take his medicine and hack out of the rough. He sends his third into the heart of the green, giving himself half a chance of scrambling par from 20 feet. He can’t make it, but he’d have taken this outcome after those tee shots. Koepka lets his opponent off with a big one there.

-7: Koepka (7)
-6: Hovland (7)
-4: Scheffler (8)
-3: Rose (8), DeChambeau (7)

Scottie Scheffler and Justin Rose pepper the flag at 8 … but only Scheffler is able to make the short birdie putt he’s left with. He rises to -4 while Rose stays stuck at -3 having lipped out. Another birdie for Kurt Kitayama, this time at 13, where he nearly holed out from 120 yards for eagle. He’s -3. And birdie for Rory McIlroy at 9 … but he’d dropped a stroke at 7 and so turns in level-par 35. He’s -1 after an erratic front nine.

Cameron Smith shoots 65

Cameron Smith nails a 15-foot par saver on the last, and he smiles warmly as he shakes hands on a best-of-week 65. The Open champion is the new clubhouse leader at -1.

Cameron Smith of Australia chips to the 18th green.
Cameron Smith of Australia chips to the 18th green. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images


Patrick Cantlay crashes his tee shot at the risk-and-reward short par-four 14th onto the right-hand fringe of the green. He then drains a 40-foot putt for only the second eagle of the week on this hole! He rises to -1. Bogey for Cameron Smith on 17, meanwhile, though he’s still on course for a best-of-week 65 should he par the last.

Hovland splashes out of the bunker but leaves himself a tricky ten-footer for par. Koepka lags up from distance and will escape with bogey. A big putt for Hovland, then, who won’t want to match Koepka’s score having hit a perfect 3-wood from the tee while his opponent found the reeds. So there’s a spring in his step when he rams the putt into the centre of the cup and plucks the ball back out. A huge par, and the lead is suddenly just one.

-8: Koepka (5)
-7: Hovland (5)
-4: DeChambeau (6), Conners (6)

A late charge up the leaderboard by Sepp Straka. Birdies at 10, 13, 14 and now 15, and the 30-year-old Austrian is -3. Victor Perez meanwhile responds to those back-to-back bogeys with birdie at 9. He’s out in 32 and -2 overall. And Scottie Scheffler finally makes a putt; his first birdie of the day, at 7, moves him up to -3.


The referee suggests Koepka’s ball has ended up in the reeds that did for slapstick artiste Tom Kim on Thursday evening. Official and player are now debating exactly where the ball crossed. While they work that out, Hovland sends his second into the bunker to the right of the green. Koepka eventually drops, then batters his third onto the back of the green. Two putts and he’ll escape with a bogey that’ll feel like a win. Especially if Hovland can’t get up and down from the sand.

Viktor Hovland crashes his drive down the right-hand side of the 6th fairway. Then Brooks Koepka sends a big slice wide right. The camera loses track of the ball. It didn’t look like it was heading for the creek, and he might even get a break on some grass trodden down by the gallery … but nothing’s confirmed yet. He could also be in deep filth. More news when we have it.

Another couple of big birdie putts drop elsewhere. Justin Rose curls one on 6 to move to -4; Cameron Smith wedges from 140 yards to seven feet at 16 and tidies up to rise to -2. This almost certainly won’t be enough for the Open champion, but he’s on course to set a clubhouse total that will give quite a large proportion of the field food for thought.

Brooks Koepka’s putt at 5, a gentle downhill left-to-right slider, looks like heading in. But it drifts too far to the right on its final turn. No fourth consecutive birdie for Brooks. Just – just! – a par. So a tiny window of opportunity cracks open for Viktor Hovland … and he clambers through it, pouring his left-to-right curler in for birdie to close the gap at the top to two strokes!

-9: Koepka (5)
-7: Hovland (5)

At the par-three 5th, Corey Conners shoves his tee shot down the bank to the right and short-sides himself. He chips up to ten feet, but gives his birdie straight back to the field. He slips to -4, where he’s joined by his playing partner Bryson DeChambeau heading the other way. A lovely iron to four feet earns Bryson his birdie. Once they vacate the green, Brooks Koepka sets up another birdie chance from 15 feet. Viktor Hovland, now dealing with added matchplay-style pressure, does extremely well to give himself a similar opportunity. A couple of big putts coming up!

Viktor Hovland eases a gentle wedge into 4, spinning the ball back close like Corey Conners did before him. It leads to his first birdie of the day. Only problem being, Brooks Koepka is unstoppable right now, and matches him stroke for stroke. The gap at the top remains three, but at least the Norwegian is maintaining some sort of chase. A second consecutive bogey for Victor Perez, meanwhile, at 8, the latest man to illustrate how there’s no future at Oak Hill if you don’t find the fairway.

-9: Koepka (4)
-6: Hovland (4)
-5: Conners (4)
-3: Rose (5), DeChambeau (4)
-2: Scheffler (5)
-1: Smith (15), Straka (13), Kitayama (10), Perez (8), McIlroy (6)

Brooks Koepka of the United States smiles as he walks up the fourth hole.
Brooks Koepka of the United States smiles as he walks up the fourth hole. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images


Rory McIlroy may as well go for broke. He aims for the flag at the treacherous long par-four 6th, tucked beside the creek. He lands his ball pin high, then rolls in the right-to-left slider from 12 feet for birdie. He’s back into the red at -1.

The Open champion Cameron Smith builds on that early momentum. Birdies at 13 and 14 whisk him up to -1. On the long par-five 4th, Corey Conners wedges into the heart of the green from 102 yards, spinning his ball back to three feet. A chance to repair the damage of the previous hole. In it goes. But bogey at 7 for Victor Perez, who wasn’t able to take on the creek crossing the fairway after finding the long stuff from the tee.

-8: Koepka (3)
-5: Conners (4), Hovland (3)
-3: Rose (5), DeChambeau (4)
-2: Perez (7), Scheffler (4)

Hovland gives his putt a good run, but it’s never dropping. Just a par. Koepka tidies up for his second birdie in a row, and right now he looks as though he’s in the mood to banish the demons that saw him drift pensively through that Netflix documentary and subsequently jiggered his Masters bid. This is awesome stuff.

-8: Koepka (3)
-5: Hovland (3)
-4: Conners (3)
-3: Perez (6), Rose (3), DeChambeau (3)
-2: Scheffler (3)


A couple of big US stars making a late tilt for the title. Patrick Reed birdies 1, 3 and 6 and is currently -1 through 7; Patrick Cantlay guides a left-to-right slider in from 20 feet on 10 to join him at -1, having previously birdied 2, 4 and 9. But the biggest US star of all right now is Brooks Koepka, and he’s just eased his tee shot at the 212-yard par-three 3rd to four feet. Viktor Hovland will have a look at birdie from 20 feet, but the field are in danger of being left behind in Koepka’s dust if they’re not careful.

The first significant move at the top. Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland pepper the flag at 2. Hovland misses his downhill four-foot tickler, the ball breaking right like Scottie Scheffler before him, but Koepka’s effort is straighter and in it goes for birdie. Meanwhile a three-putt bogey for Rory McIlroy at 4 – he slips to level par – and a poor bunker shot at 3 costs Corey Conners a shot at 3.

-7: Koepka (2)
-5: Hovland (2)
-4: Conners (3)
-3: Perez (6), Rose (3), DeChambeau (2)
-2: Scheffler (3)

Jordan Spieth nearly rakes in a monster across 18 for birdie. But par will have to do. He signs for a final-day 69, a fine round slightly sullied by a double bogey at 17. He’s +5 and the career grand slam will have to wait another year. Meanwhile a fine up and down from distance by Corey Conners at 2. He’d pulled his tee shot into a fairway bunker, necessitating a chip out. But he wedged from 100 yards to three feet, and remains at -5.

A word on Scottie Scheffler’s putter. It’s been cold all weekend, and the early signs suggest it’s refusing to warm up. After that lip-out at 1, he sent his second at 2 to four feet, only for the birdie putt to turn apologetically to the right. Now a medium-range birdie effort on 3 refuses to drop. The world number two and Players champion remains at -2 … but if he can get anything at all going on the greens, watch out field.

A garden variety par for Brooks Koepka at 1. A much more impressive one for Viktor Hovland, whose drive ended up in thick rough. He powered out, his ball rolling down the swale to the back of the green, about the best he could do with no spin control. He bundles a chip back up to six feet, then makes his par putt. What a scramble after that poor opening drive. A flat-out refusal to start cold.

-6: Koepka (1)
-5: Conners (1), Hovland (1)
-3: Perez (5), Rose (2), DeChambeau (1)
-2: Scheffler (2)
-1: Reed (6), McIlroy (3)

Bogey on the cards? Nah! Rose dinks a little chip onto the 2nd green and finds the cup. He remains at -3 … where he’s joined by Victor Perez, who knocks his tee shot at 5 to six feet and makes the putt for a fourth birdie in a row! Meanwhile bogey for Jon Rahm at 18. That’s his week in microcosm. A 71, and the world number one and Masters champion ends the week at +7. There was never any coming back from that opening round of 76.

Opening pars for DeChambeau and Conners. But trouble for Rose at 2, as he ends up in the bunker guarding the front right of the green. He’s short sided, and tries to get too cute with his splash out. His ball only just squirts out of the trap, and nestles in the rough surrounding the green. Bogey on the cards.

The 54-hole leader Brooks Koepka takes to the tee. Like Bryson before him, he gets a much better reception today. He certainly deserves it. He’s been outrageously good this week. He creams his opening drive down the right-hand side of the fairway. Then it’s Viktor Hovland’s turn … and his ball disappears in the thick rough down the right. That’s it, then! Everyone’s out and about! Let’s play some golf!

A fast start too by Victor Perez. The 30-year-old from the Pyrenees has birdied 2, 3 and 4 to whizz up to -2. Back on 1, Scottie Scheffler’s birdie putt horseshoes out at a weirdly glacial pace. How did that not drop? The big man looks befuddled. And on 2, McIlroy can’t save his par. A decent chip up to ten feet, but the putt’s always staying up on the high side. Immediate deflation.

-6: Koepka
-5: Hovland, Conners
-3: Rose (1), DeChambeau
-2: Perez (4), Scheffler (1)
-1: McIlroy (2)

Corey Conners, looking to become only the second Canadian to win a men’s major, after 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir, whistles his opening drive down the middle. Then up steps Bryson DeChambeau, who gets a much warmer reception than the boo-soaked outrage of yesterday … though there are still a few grumbles from the gallery. Poor Bryson, we can’t all be exactly the same. Undeterred, he cracks his drive down the fairway. Meanwhile up on the green, Justin Rose makes like Rory earlier, tapping in for birdie after sticking his approach close. He’s up to -3.

Disappointment for McIlroy at 2. He takes an iron from the tee to put himself in prime position, only to send his approach wide right of the green. He’s down the side of a thickly covered hill, and short-sided to boot. He’ll do well to get close from there. Par the dream, bogey more likely.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images


Kurt Kitayama has hovered around the upper echelons of the leaderboard all week, without ever quite inserting himself into the picture. Rounds of 70, 71 and 71. But the 30-year-old Californian, who won his first PGA Tour title a couple of months ago at the Arnold Palmer International, is off to a flyer today. Birdies at 1, 4 and now 5 have zipped him up the standings and into red figures. He’s -1.

Block gives himself the chance of salvaging birdie by wedging into the centre of the green and spinning his ball back to ten feet. But he can’t make the par saver. It slides by on the right and that’s an opening bogey for the last man standing of the Team of 20. Rory taps in for his birdie, and well, here we go.

-6: Koepka
-5: Hovland, Conners
-3: DeChambeau
-2: McIlroy (1), Rose, Scheffler

An awkward lie in the rough for Block, who has to stand with one foot in a bunker and chip back out onto the fairway. But what a start for Rory, who from 144 yards fires straight at the pin to 18 inches! He’ll kick that one in for the fastest of starts. He’s going to be -2 in a couple of shakes.

Callum Tarren was shaping up to be one of those big stories after opening rounds of 71 and 67. But he tumbled down the standings yesterday, a miserable front nine of 42 leading to a hope-ending 79. But he’s finished with a flourish today: a second sub-70 round of the week. Today’s 68 would have been even better had it not been for an unfortunate triple-bogey at 16. The 32-year-old from Darlington may or may not have done enough to top his previous best appearance at a major – he tied for 31st at last year’s US Open at Brookline, and is currently tied for 33rd here – but whatever happens, that’s a fine PGA Championship debut nonetheless. He ends his week at +5.

Michael Block is one of the stories – and perhaps the story – of this 105th PGA Championship. One of the PGA Team of 20 club professionals in this year’s field, he’s the only one to have made the cut. That’s an achievement in itself, but carding three consecutive rounds of 70 is on another level altogether. The 46-year-old from Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in southern California takes to the tee for the final round with two-time winner Rory McIlroy, and he’s clearly in the mood to enjoy every single moment of this, having turned up at the course four hours ago to mingle with his new legion of fans. Good on him. There won’t be a single person at Oak Hill wishing him anything but the best of luck. Winning is probably beyond him … but a top-ten finish isn’t … or even a top-four-and-ties finish for a place at next year’s Masters! A huge roar greets him before he bashes his first drive down the track. He finds the rough down the right. McIlroy splits the fairway. Godspeed Michael Block.

Justin Thomas finished the defence of his title with a round of 72. He ends the week at +12. In a neat twist of fate, he went round today with Phil Mickelson, the 2021 champion, who didn’t get to defend last year as a result of flapping his gums too loudly re LIV and the Saudis. So he was defending his crown as well this week, sort of, if you apply the logic of an elite sports star, because that’s certainly the way he’ll have been thinking about it. Nice that they played together today, then, as they took their leave of the stage. Lefty left in style, too, with a birdie at 18 that gave him a best-of-week 70. He ended up at +10.

Kazuki Higa made the first birdie of this year’s tournament on Thursday morning at the par-three 11th. The 28-year-old from Japan, making his PGA Championship debut, then went on to birdie 12, 13 and 14 and led for a few hours. But that was as good as it got. He ended the first day with a 72, followed that up with 73 and 77, and this morning shot 80 to end the week propping up the leaderboard at +20. A shame, but then again he can now always say he once led a major championship, which is something he wasn’t able to do this time last week.

A storming start for Sepp Straka as well. The big Austrian has opened with birdies at 1, 2 and 5, to whistle 12 places up the standings and into the top ten. Any old excuse to update the leaderboard for the first time this afternoon.

-6: Koepka
-5: Hovland, Conners
-3: DeChambeau
-2: Rose, Scheffler
-1: McIlroy
E: Straka (5), Lee (2), Block, Suh
+1: Smith (7), Svensson (5), Cantlay (4), Kitayama (3), Reed (2), Cole (1), Fleetwood, Perez, Jaeger, Lowry
+2: Lowry (1)

After yesterday’s deluge, the calm. It’s sunny and serene in Rochester, and while Oak Hill’s fancy new computerised drainage system has sucked away most of yesterday’s downpour, the course is playing a little softer, and therefore there’s an opportunity for someone to shoot low. Case study one: Adam Scott, who birdied 5, 6, 8 and 12 this morning and was the perfect example until making bogey at 15. He’s three under for his round, though, and +3 overall. Case study two: the Open champion Cameron Smith, who has just flown out of the traps with birdies at 2, 3, 4 and 6 … then bogeyed 7. Bah. But you get the general point. He’s also three under for his round today, after a mere seven holes, and has whisked himself up the standings to +1 in double-quick time. All good news for the chasing pack … as well as the leader Brooks Koepka, of course, and he was capable of a 66 in yesterday’s rain, so if he really fancies it today, all bets are off. Or will he fold again like he did on Masters Sunday? Yes, well anything’s possible, but the way he’s playing this week, you wouldn’t bet the farm on it happening again.


After posting back-to-back 66s, Brooks Koepka is in pole position to win his third PGA Championship. Should he do so, the 2018 and 2019 champion would become just the third player in the tournament’s stroke-play era to lift the Wanamaker Trophy three times, up there with Jack and Tiger. So no biggie. But there are a few players who will have something to say about that: Viktor Hovland and Corey Conners, chasing their first major; Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose and Scottie Scheffler, hoping for their second; Rory McIlroy, looking for that elusive fifth. All of which sets up a super Sunday of golf. It’s on!

Here’s how the top of the leaderboard looked after 54 holes …

-6: Koepka
-5: Hovland, Conners
-3: DeChambeau
-2: Rose, Scheffler
-1: McIlroy
E: Block, Suh
+1: Fleetwood, Perez, Jaeger, Cole, Lowry, Lee
+2: Reed, Kitayama, Fox, Davis

… and these are today’s tee-times.

12.50pm: Ben Taylor, Mark Hubbard
1pm: Joel Dahmen, Kazuki Higa
1.10pm: Taylor Montgomery, Taylor Moore
1.20pm: Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas
1.30pm: Rikuya Hoshino, Lee Hodges
1.40pm: Sihwan Kim, Zach Johnson
1.50pm: Padraig Harrington, Matt Wallace
2pm: Adrian Meronk, Pablo Larrazabal
2.10pm: Thomas Detry, Tony Finau
2.20pm: Callum Tarren, Yannik Paul
2.30pm: Max Homa, JT Poston
2.40pm: Patrick Rodgers, Thriston Lawrence
2.50pm: KH Lee, Patrick Rodgers
3.10pm: Adam Hadwin, Adam Scott
3.20pm: Sam Stevens, Nicolai Hojgaard
3.30pm: Tom Hoge, Lucas Herbert
3.40pm: Dean Burmester, Jon Rahm
3.50pm: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth
4pm: Harold Varner III, Mito Pereira
4.10pm: Collin Morikawa, Beau Hossler
4.20pm: Xander Schauffele, Chez Reavie
4.30pm: Alex Smalley, Thomas Pieters
4.40pm: Keegan Bradley, Matt NeSmith
5pm: Cameron Smith, Hayden Buckley
5.10pm: Tyrrell Hatton, Chris Kirk
5.20pm: Keith Mitchell, Taylor Pendrith
5.30pm: Adam Svensson, Sepp Straka
5.40pm: Sahith Theegala, Patrick Cantlay
5.50pm: Cam Davis, Hideki Matsuyama
6pm: Kurt Kitayama, Ryan Fox
6.10pm: Min Woo Lee, Patrick Reed
6.20pm: Eric Cole, Shane Lowry
6.30pm: Stephan Jaegar, Victor Perez
6.50pm: Justin Suh, Tommy Fleetwood
7pm: Michael Block, Rory McIlroy
7.10pm: Justin Rose, Scottie Scheffler
7.20pm: Corey Conners, Bryson DeChambeau
7.30pm: Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland


Scott Murray

The GuardianTramp

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