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US PGA Championship 2023: Brooks Koepka beats Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland at Oak Hill

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A resurgent Brooks Koepka held off Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland to claim his third US PGA Championship title at Oak Hill in New York state.

Koepka, 33, carded a three-under 67 to win his fifth major on nine under, two shots clear of Scheffler and Hovland.

Scheffler, who returns to world number one, hit a 65 to get to seven under, while Hovland – who had a double bogey on the 16th – shot a two-under 68.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was joint seventh on two under.

There was also a magical moment when south California club professional Michael Block once again illuminated the East Course with a hole-in-one at the 151-yard par-three 15th.

The 46-year-old was one of 20 club professionals at the championship, but the only one to make the cut and he has delighted fans all week with his carefree attitude.

And they erupted once again to celebrate the ace, although Block was only aware of his feat after he asked his playing partner McIlroy, “Rory, did it go in?” before the two shared a warm embrace.

Block’s ace is the first at this championship since 2020 and helped him finish joint 15th, which earns him an exemption for next year’s tournament at Valhalla.

However, even he could not distract from a moment of redemption for his fellow American Koepka, who held a four-shot lead at April’s Masters before eventually finishing as runner-up to Jon Rahm.

It is the third time in five years that Koepka has played a major championship in the state of New York and come out on top.

And it is all the more remarkable given it comes just two years after undergoing extensive knee surgeryexternal-link and following his switch to the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf set-up.

Koepka collects the Wanamaker Trophy and a hefty cheque of $3.15m [£2.53m]. He also becomes only the sixth player to win the Championship on three or more occasions – joining Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus (five), Tiger Woods (four), Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead (three).

Koepka back at his brilliant best

Koepka was roundly booed by fans on the first tee on Saturday because of his involvement with LIV Golf.

However, his sustained brilliance over the third round and again on Sunday ensured he received the adulation of the galleries as he tapped in his winning putt.

On the the face of it his success may well provide a significant boost for those marketing the Saudi-funded circuit but for an emotional Koepka, a player whose career was in jeopardy not so long ago, it appeared to strike a more personal chord.

Koepka has spent recent weeks reflecting on “choking” at the Masters, pledging to not simply try to hang on to a lead ever again after faltering badly in defensive mode at Augusta National.

True to his word as he went on a birdie blitz across the second, third and fourth holes to open a four-shot lead before his Norwegian playing partner, Hovland, responded.

It was an imperious opening. The last 54-hole leader at a major to go three under or better in the first four holes of a final round was Ian Baker-Finch on his way to victory at the 1991 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

But Koepka saw his lead cut to a single shot after finding the water off the tee on the challenging sixth hole, while both he and Hovland dropped shots at the seventh.

Both players then became immersed in a superb duel that ultimately fizzled out on the 16th hole when Hovland drilled his second shot into the face of a fairway bunker – exactly as Corey Conners had done in round three. The Norwegian was given a free drop – but in a horrendous lie in the rough – and could only make double bogey from there.

At that stage, Scheffler, who made a late charge with four birdies on the back nine, looked set to finish outright second, but Hovland rolled in a birdie putt on the last to join the American on seven under.

It left Koepka, who had bogeyed the 17th, two putts from 15 feet to conclude an impressive victory.

More to follow.

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