Brooks Koepka, from LIV Golf to PGA Championship leadership. The second Major of the year sees the former world number 1 in command ahead of the Canadian Corey Conners and the Norwegian Viktor Hovland, both looking for the first great joy of their career.
For Koepka an important chance, but also the possibility of sending a bombastic signal that could cause much discussion in golf.
Brooks Koepka, statements
These are his words to the PGA Championship website: “Having learned from what happened in Augusta has substantially helped today.
I believed that all I had to do was stay healthy. That was the only question mark. But you know, to have an offseason to really commit myself, to be in the gym every day, to work hard, to do different recovery work, it was very nice”.
There is also an aspect that can bring him next to names that do not need to be presented: “I think a Major means a lot to everyone. I’ve been told that Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus have won three PGA Championships, so it would be special to be in a roster or category with them.
I just have to go out there and play well tomorrow.” In the last lap Koepka will be together with Hovland: a bit like putting the present generation with the new one, which has been trying in every way to subvert the one at the top for some time.
And the Norwegian can become a great exponent of it. The first PGA Championship was held in 1916 at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. The trophy was donated by Rodman Wanamaker, and it is known today as The Wanamaker Trophy.
Originally it was a Match-Play tournament, but it was transformed into Stroke-Play in 1958, certainly under pressure from American television, which preferred to show as many players as possible. The first winner, Jim Barnes, received $500 in 1916 (compared to the 2006 winner, Tiger Woods, who received over $1 million for his victory).
The tournament first experienced a strong domination of Walter Hagen, with 5 wins including 4 consecutive from 1924 to 1927, but also the victories of the best professional players of the time, in particular Gene Sarazen.
After the format change, the tournament was dominated by Jack Nicklaus, who equaled Hagen’s record of 5 wins in 1980 at Oak Hill. The 1986 edition is remembered for the snatch victory of Bob Tway, who, returning from the bunker on the last hole, manages to get ahead of Greg Norman who had a comfortable lead at the start of the last nine. holes.