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Koepka takes PGA for fifth major title in landmark LIV win

ROCHESTER (AFP) – Brooks Koepka outdueled Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler in a back-nine battle on Sunday to win the PGA Championship for his fifth major title, giving Saudi-backed LIV Golf a milestone major triumph.

The 33-year-old American captured his third PGA Championship and became the first player to win a major since joining LIV, firing a three-under par 67 to finish 72 holes at Oak Hill on nine-under 271.

“This is probably the sweetest one of them all because all the hard work that went into it,” Koepka said. “This one is definitely special.”

Norway’s 11th-ranked Hovland, chasing his first major title, and American Scheffler, last year’s Masters winner and the new world number one, shared second on 273.

“I put up a good fight. I played great today,” Scheffler said. “I gave the guys on top of the leaderboard something to think about.

Brooks Koepka celebrates with the Wanamaker trophy. PHOTO: AP

“But Brooks just played some fantastic golf this week. He played too good this weekend for me to catch up to him.”

There were a smattering of boos for Koepka as he walked onto the 18th green to make the concluding putts for the title, a sign of the bitter acrimony that has engulfed golf since the launch of the LIV circuit last year.

But Koepka calmly finished off an impressive romp, his first major win since 2021 right knee surgery sidelined him for most of the past two seasons.

“I hear it all,” Koepka said. “I just don’t care. That’s sports. You’ve got to be mentally tough.”

Thinking of the rehabilitation and recovery made Koepka emotional as he walked off the 18th green.

“I look back at where we were two years ago,” Koepka said. “I’m so happy right now. I’m at a loss for words. But this is the coolest thing.”

Koepka’s victory puts him among the winningest 20 men in major history.

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