By: Tyler Lagasse
The winner of the 2023 PGA Championship may have been Brooks Koepka, who has won this event for the 3rd time since 2018. But the winner of the day belongs to 46 year old Michael Block, a PGA of America Professional from Mission Viejo, California. On the par-3 15th hole at Oak Hill Country Country Club, Michael Block made a hole in one; a slam dunk in fact to the delight of his playing partner Rory McIlroy. Three holes later on 18, Block had to go up and down to save par to finish in a tie for 15th which automatically qualifies him for next year's PGA Championship to be held at Valhalla. His performance serves as an inspiration to all PGA Professionals across the country.
Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka won his 5th major championship, his first since the 2019 PGA, and the first major golf championship by a member of the LIV Golf Series. It was also the first major won by an American since Justin Thomas won the PGA last year. He got hot in the 3rd round to take the lead and never relinquished it in the final round. Until now it had been a tumultuous four years filled with injuries to his knees and controversies such as leaving the PGA Tour for the LIV Circuit. There was a time when nobody thought that Brooks would come back taming the best let alone be a champion again. None of it matters anymore, the Wannamaker Trophy belongs to Brooks Koepka, the guy with the muscles.
It's also important to acknowledge the performances of Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners, the seven others who were able to shoot under par over four days on a course as tough as Oak Hill in upstate New York, and especially the PGA Professionals who were able to participate.
And so we're on to the next major, the U.S. Open. Next June we go to Los Angeles Country Club, a first time host of our national open golf tournament. After five years of staging the Open at familiar venues as Shinnecock Hills, Pebble Beach, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, and Brookline, the USGA is heading back to uncharted territory just as they did at Erin Hills, Wisconsin in 2017 as well as Chambers Bay, Washington in 2015. All the best, PGA Tour and LIV Golf alike, will be there. Until then, this is Tyler Lagasse saying so long everybody, and keep the ball in play.