The 2023 PGA Championship is history, featuring a wild four rounds of golf. Oak Hill in Rochester, NY, was always going to be a difficult test for the best golfers in the world, and this time around, the weather made it an even more challenging event.
There were times when it appeared as if not a single golfer would be under par. That wasn’t the case. There were major storylines along the way, some will continue as a topic of discussion.
Taking the Fifth
It was Brooks Koepka as the biggest story of the tournament, a fifth major championship to his name. It also happened on the heels of Koepka blowing a fourth-round lead at the Masters, Jon Rahm blowing right past him.
Koepka was 22-1 (+2200) to win the tourney at the outset. He didn’t get off to a very good start, either. However, by crunch time Sunday, he had three straight birdies early in his final round, swelling to a four-shot advantage on the leaderboard.
Koepka has thrice won the Wanamaker Trophy. He finished at nine under par, or two shots better than Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler, both of whom charged hard on the back nine.
Koepka acknowledged that he choked during Augusta’s final round, vowing to make sure that didn’t repeat. It was also the LIV Golf Tour’s first win at a major.
Koepka is listed at +1200 to win golf’s next major, according to U.S. Open odds by BetUS sportsbook. It’s in mid-June at the Los Angeles Country Club.
A Block Party
If Brooks Koepka taking the PGA title was the story, then Michael Block was indeed the second-best tale in Rochester. Coming to Oak Hill as an unknown, but now a name fans won’t forget.
Block finished 15th, and that automatically gives him a place in the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla (Louisville, Ky). It was just his second appearance at a PGA Championship and by far the best performance of his career.
Block had opened with three straight rounds of even par, which had him in the top-10. That paired Block with Rory McIlroy in the final round, added to the fairy-tale story that unfolded.
Block quickly became a favorite among the gallery, and the best moment was a hole-in-one on Sunday’s par-3 15th that slammed into the cup without ever hitting the green. Soon after, other tournaments reached out to the Californian, inviting him to participate.
Mickelson Didn’t Factor
There wasn’t much noise surrounding Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship, as the six-time major winner was never involved. Mickelson finished +10, but he did cause a bit of a stir.
Speaking to the media, Mickelson said he is going to continue to rail against the PGA Tour in an effort to, as he sees it, hold it accountable. Mickelson also met with the U.S. Department of Justice last week with what he said was information against the Tour.
As part of the LIV Golf Tour, he is claiming the PGA Tour acted unfairly toward the rebel tour.
While LIV members are eligible to play in the majors, the next big question involves selection to the Ryder Cup, an unknown as of this writing.
U.S. is the odds-on (-190) choice to win the late September/early October event in Rome, as per Ryder Cup odds.