PGA Championship 2023: Someone is going to call this a giant win for LIV. It just isn't going to be Brooks Koepka
Kevin C. Cox
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — “I’m back. I’m here.”
Brooks Koepka left no doubt about that on Sunday, closing out the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club for his fifth major title and third in the PGA. He also made history as the first player to win a major championship as a member of LIV Golf with his two-stroke victory over Scott Scheffler and Viktor Hovland.
Koepka, who closed with a three-under 67 to post nine-under 271 on Oak Hill’s East Course, became the second LIV player to currently hold one of the four major titles. Cam Smith is the other, winning last year’s Open Championship at St. Andrews the week before he left the PGA Tour for the fledgling circuit.
Koepka's victory is a huge development for the Saudi-backed league, but Koepka wasn’t thinking big picture when he was asked if his win validated LIV Golf, even after it was suggested by his rival, Bryson DeChambeau that it did. In the immediate aftermath, he was looking inward, which he had a perfect right to do.
“Yeah, I definitely think it helps LIV, but I'm more interested in my own self right now, to be honest with you,” said Koepka, who didn’t reveal whether he had yet heard from LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. “It's a huge thing for LIV, but at the same time I'm out here competing as an individual at the PGA Championship. I'm just happy to take this home for the third time.”
Well, that answer wasn’t going to hold, so he asked about the pride he felt on behalf of his LIV peers. Again, Koepka wasn’t interested in furthering the cause or that narrative.
“Look at it, I think I was the first guy to win two LIV events. To win a major is always a big deal no matter where you're playing,” the 33-year-old Floridian said. “All it does, I just think, I guess, validates it for myself. I guess maybe if anybody doubted it from Augusta or whatever, any doubts anybody on TV might have or whatever, I'm back, I'm here.”
Team golf resumes this week for LIV in Washington, D.C. For Koepka, the PGA was all his, and he clearly didn't feel like sharing.