Golf Capital – Brooks’ Double among New York rabble
Brooks was here… To use a well-worn phrase from the seminal 1994 movie Shawshank Redemption. Brooks (Koepka) was here and he conquered the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Koepka prevailed by two strokes after finishing at eight under two clear of good friend Dustin Johnson having lead by seven strokes at various stages of the tournament. He now holds both the US Open and the Wanamaker trophy plus has won four majors in his last eight starts.
I guess the only question is, if Brooks was here, and is Brooks ‘Who is Red?’ Answers on a postcard.
Koepka, who led by a touchdown for the first time during the second round at the Farmingdale venue, gave back five shots from the 11th hole on the back nine on Sunday during the windswept conditions but still won his fourth major such was his dominance in the first 54 holes. No seven-shot leader after three rounds in the history of the PGA Tour had gone on to lose and this remains the case as Koepka survived Johnson’s final round 69 with his fellow American finishing at six under. All this came after Floridian Koepka opened with a seven under round on Thursday to shot the lowest first round by a defending champion.
Johnson’s result means he has the career grand slam… of a runner-up finish in every major. Third place was shared by American duo of Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth with England’s Matt Wallace
One sole statistic might signify how dominant Koepka is currently in the elite tournaments. Amongst active PGA Tour players these players have won more majors; Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. That’s the list.
Greens in regulation
The verdict might be out on whether the move of the PGA Championship to May is successful (I’m ambivalent, let’s wait until the end of the season) but one thing was confirmed NEW YORK SPORTS FANS ARE THE WORST. The yahooing and hollering was off the scale as fans turned on Brooks Koepka (what has he ever done to them?) at the end of the tournament. Things well and truly got out of control. One can imagine what might have happened if Matt Wallace from England or Sung Kang of Korea had the temerity to mount a larger challenge on the final few holes. New York should be barred from hosting golf majors most certainly for say the next decade. I’ll extend that ban to the nearby state of New Jersey so the Commander in Cheat’s course can’t host the 2022 PGA Championship.
With plenty of focus on majors in the USA in recent weeks (the Women’s US Open starts on May 30 by the way) the European Tour has been busy announcing more dual-field events with now the inclusion of Golfers with Disability at two of the marquee Rolex Series Events.
With the newly established World Rankings for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) to compliment the additions of the Scottish Open and Dubai Finale to the calendar for these elite players. Whilst the Dubai event finishes on the Saturday the coverage for these events will also be included in the world broadcast feed so all those receiving the coverage will be able to watch the denouement of these tournaments, as was the case during the Australian Open coverage late last year.
However, whilst the ET continues to be at the forefront of inclusive golfing events they also (on the quiet in the same period) confirmed they would return to Saudi Arabia in 2020 after the inaugural Saudi International men’s event was held there in March. I find it hard to contrast the range of these two decisions. Truly baffling.
Charles Schwab Challenge – Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth
With form reading 2-5 here it’s hard to see the Spaniard not challenging and his recent major performances
The former roommate of Jordan Spieth hasn’t had the same career trajectory but the DAP Championship winner on the web.com tour from last year was T17 at the Byron Nelson closing with rounds of 66-66 last time out.
Made in Denmark – Himmerland Golf and Spa Resort, near Gatten
The defending champion, albeit on a different course, is ranked a career-high 25 after his placing in the PGA which followed a T2 at the British Masters.
The Australian has finished T4 in Challenge Tour events in Denmark and has finished T21-MC-T15 in his last three starts with two rounds in the 60s at the British Masters in tricky conditions.
Feb 13: Nelly Korda win and Paul Dunne third.
Feb 20: Ledioda missed the cut and in Mexico Ancer (T39) was the best of the three.
Feb 27: Best two were Brooke Henderson (T15) after taking an eight on one of the par fives in her opening round and Harrison Endycott T17.
March 6: Matt Millar T23 in NZ was the best result in the tough weather on the South Island.
March 13 Justin Thomas T35 was the best of the TPC Sawgrass four.
March 20: Went off a week early with Kisner but in the Valspar Jon Rahm was T6 as the best result.
April 4: Matt Jones’ T30 was the best of the four options last week after Rahm’s T6 finish the week prior.
April 11: Xander Schauffele. T2 at his second Masters appearance is impressive a show for the future.
April 17: Brooke Henderson won in Hawaii with Matt Fitzpatrick the best at the RBC Heritage at T39.
May 15: Brooks Koepka won the PGA with Schauffele aiming for a top five finish before faltering like so many on Sunday to eventually finish T16 and 11 shots off the winner.
Image via pga.com