Brooks Koepka, the golfer known as “Major Brooks,” has taken the lead in the PGA Championship after a tough round at Oak Hill. On a rainy Saturday, Koepka’s 4-under 66 was the low round at Oak Hill for the second consecutive day. He finished with three birdies in the last seven holes to build a one-shot lead over Viktor Hovland and Corey Conners. Koepka said he loved the challenge of a difficult course and was pleased with his performance on a course that’s a brute even in pleasant weather.
Koepka’s Chance for Redemption
Koepka has a chance to restore his reputation as golf’s toughest customer in the toughest championships. This is his second consecutive 54-hole lead in a major, and he’s determined to finish it off after recent disappointments. In the 2020 PGA Championship, he was two shots behind Dustin Johnson going into the final round but ended up tying for 29th. In the 2021 Masters, he played it safe in the final round and finished with a 75, losing to Jon Rahm by four shots. Koepka is confident that he won’t make the same mistakes again.
Conners and Hovland’s Performances
Corey Conners played Oak Hill like a U.S. Open, opening with two birdies and 13 pars that kept him in front for much of the day. However, one swing changed everything. He was in a bunker right of the 16th fairway when he hit the ball so thin that it disappeared into the lip of the soggy turf. Conners ended up taking a double bogey. He finished the day with a 70. Viktor Hovland overcame mistakes early with three birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn. However, he failed to take advantage of the scoring stretch on holes 13, 14, and 15. He ended up taking a bogey from the bunker on the 18th hole for a 70.
The Tough Conditions
The rainy conditions made Oak Hill even more challenging than usual. Only nine players broke par on Saturday, and fairways were framed by umbrellas. The rough was thick and wet, and many players wore their caps backward to keep the rain from dripping off the bill. However, Koepka was sharp with the putter on the back nine, and he was particularly aggressive on the 17th hole, rolling in a 45-foot putt for birdie.
Koepka’s strong performance on a difficult course has given him a chance to win his fifth major and his third PGA Championship. He’s determined to finish the job after recent disappointments in major championships. Conners and Hovland are close behind, but Koepka’s experience in high-pressure situations could give him an advantage. The final round promises to be a thrilling conclusion to a challenging tournament.
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