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Brooks Koepka already had his name etched into the Wanamaker Trophy twice before winning his third PGA Championship on Sunday. He was expected to get the job done at Oak Hill as he began the final round with a one-shot lead, but just because Koepka met his expectations doesn’t make his victory any less special.
Most would argue that the next major championship of every multi-major winner is their greatest accomplishment, and Koepka’s fifth major title certainly checked that box. The 33-year-old not only killed multiple narratives present in today’s turbulent golf world but created one of his own.
Brooks Koepka Kills The ‘LIV Players Can’t Play’ Narrative
We have to go back to June 2022 when Koepka surprisingly joined LIV Golf to get the full picture of what he just accomplished.
The narrative that the majority of golf media and golf fans tried to create was that the players who jumped ship for the Saudi-backed circuit were simply signing their name away for a paycheck and they would lose their competitiveness and ability to compete on the game’s biggest stages.
Koepka’s 2023 PGA Championship win just eliminated that talking point for everyone.
Anyone who suggests that LIV players don’t have what it takes to win major championships can’t be taken seriously. Every LIV player in the field in June’s U.S. Open could miss the cut, but the argument that LIV golfers can’t win on a major stage is now invalid thanks to Koepka.
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LIV Golf may not exist in a year, or it could be around for the next 100 years. Koepka could be back on the PGA Tour in a few years or on the Saudi circuit until he calls it quits, but he will forever be known as the first LIV player to win a major championship.
The PGA Championship Slaps
Koepka has played a major role in the past handful of PGA Championships, but his win at Oak Hill is the official sign that we need to put more respect on what most would conclude is the forgotten major.
The PGA Championship has been appointment viewing for seven consecutive years. You have Koepka’s three wins, Justin Thomas winning a pair, plus Collin Morikawa’s walk-off in 2020, and Phil Mickelson becoming the oldest major champion in 2021.
If you take away Tiger Woods’ Masters win in 2019, I think you could absolutely make the argument that over the last decade, the PGA Championship has delivered the most drama and most impactful wins among all four major championships.
Koepka winning his third PGA while also becoming the first LIV player to win a major just adds to the spectacle that has now become the PGA Championship.
No more PGA Championship slander is allowed.
Brooks Koepka vs Rory McIlroy
While Koepka killed two very real narratives, he created a new one that probably wasn’t on the radar of most.
Brooks Koepka has now won five major championships compared to Rory McIlroy’s four.
Koepka has won five majors in 35 major starts and while McIlroy won four majors in his first 24 major starts as a professional, he’s won his four over the course of 56 major starts.
McIlroy has 14 more PGA Tour wins than Koepka as well, which certainly adds to the argument that on the all-time player’s list, he sits ahead of Koepka, but this opened the door to an entirely new conversation.
Golfers are measured by their major championship wins, period, and Koepka now has one more than McIlroy.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris
4 CommentsLeave a Reply
Brandel Chamblee is unbearable. Man that guy is a pos.
LIV only had a handful of guys in the tournament and they finished with 5 in the top 18. Same as with the Masters. A tiny percentage of the players but a way disproportionately high placing and share of the money both times. LIV players have, on average, significantly outplayed their PGA counterparts in the last two majors. This is not taking a side, it’s just stating facts. I just like it because it’s great for golf.
don’t have anything against the players on the bone saw tour, but don’t shove down our throats that exhibition tour is a real competition. play a quarter less rounds and everyone plays and gets paid no matter if you shoot 15 over par.
LIV Tour is real golf.. You sound like unwritten rule of baseball guy saying 3 rounds isn’t real golf.