Brooks Koepka (-9) Makes History With 5th Major Title, But the ‘Everyman’ Golf Instructor Michael Block Stole the Show
We’re not crying, you’re crying. Golf fans were treated to another blissful Sunday major yesterday for the 2023 PGA Championship where, not one, but two winners emerged. In an ironic twist and miraculous comeback from injury, Brooks Koepka — a LIV golfer — made history with his third PGA Championship win and his fifth career major victory. Koepka (-9) held the lead from wire-to-wire on Sunday with Viktor Hovland (-7) and Scottie Scheffler (-7) applying the pressure. But it was another golfer that stole the show at Oak Hill, and his name was Michael Block.
“You could say, in many respects, we had two champions. Brooks Koepka takes the Wanamaker and Michael Block stole America’s hearts.” — Jim Nantz (CBS Sports)
One event, two stories. We’ll start with Brooksy.
Koepka’s Sunday Stronghold: Koepka and Hovland went toe-to-toe on Sunday in the final pairing while Scheffler climbed the leaderboard late with a 5-under Sunday finish. Both leaders hit magnificent approach shots one after another on the front nine before Hovland stuttered with a few unlucky lies. Koepka was borderline flawless and made the tough test of Oak Hill look civilian. Hovland pulled within one stroke twice, but Koepka put distance between the two with three birdies in five holes (12th-16th) en route to his third Wanamaker Trophy.
Most PGA Championships (All-Time)
5: Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus
4: Tiger Woods
3: Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Brooks Koepka
The Block Party: Michael Block, a 46-year-old club pro who teaches lessons at a public course in California, earned the invite to Oak Hill, and what he did with the opportunity was nothing short of magical. Block fired two even-par 70s on Thursday and Friday to make the cut and play into the weekend. His legend quickly grew, and golf fans who had never heard of him (no one had) jumped on the Block bandwagon. Another 70 on Saturday slotted him in a Sunday pairing with Rory McIlroy. His response to that news: “Are you kidding me?”
The Ace Heard ‘Round the World: Just a normal golf pro living a dream, and he held his own on Sunday with McIlroy and a following of patrons beyond words. On the par-3 15th, Block dunked a hole-in-one and earned a hug from his playing partner. He was in disbelief. Block went on to make a stunning par save on the 18th in front of a roaring gallery to finish 15th. Significant, to say the least. The top-15 on the leaderboard automatically qualify for the 2024 PGA Championship, so we’ll be seeing Block again next year at Valhalla.
B. Koepka (-9)
S. Scheffler (-7)
V. Hovland (-7)
B. DeChambeau (-3)
K. Kitayama (-3)
Other Notable Scorecards: C. Conners (-2), R. McIlroy (-2), C. Smith (-1), P. Cantlay (-1), J. Rose (-1), M. Block (+1), X. Schauffele (+2), P. Reed (+2), C. Morikawa (+4), J. Spieth (+5), J. Rahm (+7), D. Johnson (+9), P. Mickelson (+10) | Full Leaderboard
Watch: 2023 PGA Championship Highlights
B/R: Brooks Koepka Becomes 1st LIV Golfer to Win Major Title
The Ringer: Brooks Koepka Makes Uncomfortable History at the PGA Championship
Yahoo! Sports: Michael Block Hits Wild Ace to End Dream Week at Oak Hill
Golf Channel: The Fairytale Continues: Michael Block Receives Sponsor’s Invite to Play Next Week’s Charles Schwab Challenge
Photo: Darren Carroll / Getty Images