After a solid showing from the world's best at PGA Championship, D3 Advisor and PGA Tour Pro Nick O'Hern reflects on what it all means.
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A couple of years ago, Brooks Koepka gave us one of the great take downs on social media when Bryson DeChambeau, referring to Brooks’ physique during an interview, said:
“I don’t know if his genetics even make him look good. Did you see The Body issue? He didn’t have any abs. I have abs.”
Brooks’ reply? A photo on Twitter of his two US Open and two PGA Championship trophies along with the comment:
“You were right @b_dechambeau I am 2 short of a 6-pack!”
Wham! Conversation over, and after his PGA Championship win last week, now he’s only one short of that six-pack.
Plenty of water has flowed under the bridge since that public feud. Both players contentiously going to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League, their form suffering along the way. Bryson finally breathed life back into his game at last week’s major with a T4 finish, his best result since leaving for LIV. Koepka had been trending of late with a win at LIV Orlando and a runner up at the Masters. However, he saved his best for the PGA. An opening two over 72 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY just a glimpse into what was to come. Combining power and finesse, rounds of 66-66-67 the final three days led to a two-stroke victory and a place in history. He joins the ‘5 majors club’ alongside Byron Nelson, Peter Thomson, Seve Ballesteros, JH Taylor, and James Braid. Esteemed company indeed.
The manner in which Koepka plays the majors versus non-majors is quite fascinating. If it’s not one of the big four he simply doesn’t seem to care. An amazing attitude if you have the game and confidence to back it up, and Koepka has both in spades. Lessons were learnt at the Masters where he allowed Jon Rahm to steamroll past his 54-hole lead for the Spaniard’s first Green Jacket. At the PGA though, he wasn’t letting go of top spot at any cost. His playing partner and closest pursuer, Viktor Hovland, clung on admirably all day until a fairway bunker shot on 16 brought his undoing. Koepka pounced immediately with his approach on the same hole to four feet resulting in birdie, and the tournament was all but over. Bogey on 17 was of little consequence and after four supremely played strokes up the 18th, the Wannamaker Trophy was once again his.
Hovland and Scottie Scheffler ended up tying for second, the latter not holing a putt over 15 feet the entire week until finally making one from 15 feet 9 inches on the 72nd hole. Scheffler did however regain No. 1 spot on the OWGR from Rahm, and with Koepka’s win, ongoing calls for world rankings to be revised (even scrapped) will no doubt be at the forefront of LIV protagonists. In a way it was a win for LIV Golf, showing great players are yes, still great players. Unfortunately, those playing the controversial tour who haven’t won a major, are on borrowed time at the biggest events as each one goes by and their world rankings tumble. The PGA Tour v LIV debate will continue raging, but one thing not up for argument is… Brooks is back. And at next month’s US Open at LA Country Club, it’ll be a brave person who bets against him.
PGA Tour Pro and D3 Golf Board Member and Advisor
Nicholas Simon O'Hern (born 18 October 1971) is an Australian Professional Golfer. Nick has played on both of the world's premier professional golf tours, the European Tour, and the United States-based PGA Tour. His biggest successes though, have come at home on the PGA Tour of Australasia, where he won the Order of Merit as the leading money winner in 2006.
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