Koepka hails 'sweetest' major of his career after ending drought

Brooks Koepka hails ‘sweetest’ major of his career after ending four-year drought with PGA Championship triumph – and insists ‘as a kid he didn’t even dream’ about winning five

  • Brooks Koepka finished two shots ahead of Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler
  • American said he was ‘lost for words’ and talked about ‘blood, sweat and tears’ 
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Brooks Koepka labelled his fifth major title as the ‘sweetest’ of his career after he completed his astonishing revival with victory at the PGA Championship on Sunday.

The American, once feared as golf’s most effective big-game hunter since Tiger Woods, had appeared to be drifting away from relevance after a succession of serious knee injuries between 2019 and 2021.

But after claiming second place at the Masters last month Koepka went one better at Oak Hill to become one of only 20 golfers to win five majors and his first in four years.

‘This is incredible, this is wild,’ said Koepka, who carded a final-round 67 to beat Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler by two strokes.

‘When I look back at where we were two years ago I’m just so happy right now. I’m kind of at a loss for words. This is the coolest thing.

Brooks Koepka leans on the trophy after sealing his victory in the PGA Championship

Koepka was delighted on the 18th green after sealing a two-shot win over his nearest rivals

‘This one is definitely a lot sweeter. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this one. Life has changed a lot for me but this one is super gratifying for me.’

The win will elevate Koepka from 44th to 13th in the updated world rankings and will also move him into the automatic qualifying places for the United States Ryder Cup team. 

With the top six going straight into Zach Johnson’s squad of 12, Koepka is expected to sit second, albeit without being able to secure any further points until next month’s US Open as his LIV circuit is currently deemed ineligible by golf’s official world rankings body.

‘I don’t know how many guys have won five times but to be in with those names is incredible,’ Koepka added. ‘I’m not sure as I kid I even dreamed about doing it.

‘I’m not trying to prove to anyone else that I can still play. I can still do it and I like the way things are starting to come together. I think when I’m healthy I think I’m back to where I was during that good stretch.’

Koepka had to wait four years between major wins, but has now taken his tally to a brilliant five

Norway’s Viktor Hovland said it ‘sucks’ to have fallen short but is happy with his progression

Hovland, who has finished fourth, seventh and second in the last three majors, said: ‘It sucks right now, but it is really cool to see that things are going in the right direction.’

The Norwegian added: ‘If I just keep taking care of my business and just keep working on what I’ve been doing, I think we’re going to get one of these soon.

‘Brooks is a great player and now he has five majors. I mean, that’s a hell of a record right there. It’s not easy going toe to toe with a guy like that.

‘So I feel like I belong out here, I just have got to get a little bit better and hopefully it goes my way the next time.’

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy shot a third straight 69 to finish two under. He has cut a desperately subdued figure this week, with his game nowhere his usual standards. 

Rory McIlroy was off the pace and had to fight hard for his top-seven finish at Oak Hill

That he finished in the top seven was down to fighting spirit, though that leaves a number of technical gremlins to fix in just three weeks ahead of the US Open, including a two-way miss off the tee.

He said: ‘I honestly didn’t feel like I had a chance of winning this week.

‘I feel sort of close but also so far away at the same time. It’s hard to explain. I feel like sometimes it was the worst I could have played, but then at the same time, it’s like the best I could have done. It’s a weird feeling. 

‘It just doesn’t feel quite where it needs to be, so I just need to go back home and work on some stuff and try to figure it out.’

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