Oak Hill Country Club, located in Pittsford New York, a suburb southeast of Rochester and best known for its East Course, played host to the 2023 PGA Championship for the fourth time. The par 70, 7,399 yards East Course is considered one of the more difficult courses played on the pro tour. Opened in 1925, it continues to challenge the world’s greatest players as was evident by this year’s Championship when 98 of the top 100 ranked golfers in the world started, with only seven under par going into the final round.
When Oak Hill Country Club moved to its current location in 1922, club members hired Donald Ross to design two courses, the East and the West. Several architects have applied changes to the East course over the years, but Oak Hill turned back the clock in 2019 by commissioning Andrew Green to restore the greens and bunkers to Ross’s specifications.
The 2023 PGA Championship purse at Oak Hill Country Club is $17.5 million, with the winner taking home $3.15 million and the prestigious Wanamaker Trophy. Each of the top three finishers earned more than a million dollars. 2Second place is $1.89 million while 3rd place is $1.19 million. The purse was up from $15 million last year.
Yogi Berra once said, “it’s Déjà vu all over again.” That just about sums up what the final round looked like Sunday. Last month’s Masters Tournament also had weather issues that interrupted a round and had Brooks Koepka leading going into the final day. A relatively unknown Sam Bennett (A) was among the leaders heading into the final round the same as club pro Michael Brock (PGA) going into the final round Sunday.
This was the leaderboard when the final group teed off: (1) Brooks Koepka -6, (2) Corey Conners -5, (2) Viktor Hovland -5, (4) Bryson DeChambeau -3, (4) Justin Rose -3, (4) Victor Perez -3 and (7) Scottie Scheffler -2.
The leaderboard stayed pretty much unchanged as the earlier tee times worked their way around the course. Victor Perez -3 (European Tour) being the only exception as he moved into a tie for 4th with 4 birdies in his first 5 holes. Halfway through the front nine the leaderboard had remained pretty much the way it began with (1) Koepka -9 (3 birdies on first 5 holes,) (2) Hovland -7, (3) DeChambeau -4, (3) Conners -4, and (3) Rose -4.
The 6th hole saw Koepka bogey -8 and Hovland posted a birdie to close within 1 at -7. Another bogey for Koepka -8 at the 7th put him tied with Hovland at -7. Bogey by Hovland -6 at the 8th left the top of the leaderboard, heading into the back nine, a little more crowded with Koepka -7, Hovland -6, Scheffler -4, DeChambeau -4.
What looked like a possible Koepka runaway turned into another race to the finish with $3.15 million dollars waiting for the winner. Scheffler -5 moved into sole possession of 3rd place with a birdie at the 13th. Koepka -8 picks up a birdie on the 12th. Michael Block -E aced the par 3 15th hole with a shot that went straight into the cup bringing everyone to their feet across America. Scheffler -6 moved into a tied for 2nd place with a birdie on the 14th. Hovland -7 take back sole possession of 2nd place with a birdie at the 13th. The 320-yard par 4 14th hole saw both Koepka and Hovland go for the green with their drives. Hovland was short right and Koepka drove just off the back left. Hovland -8 and Koepka -9 both birdied the 14th.
The leaderboard heading to the last four holes had Koepka -9, Hovland -8, and Scheffler -6. Michael Block finishes up with a +1 to the delight of the overwhelming crowd surrounding the fairway and green. Hovland -6 double bogeyed the 16th and falls into a tie for 2nd place with Scheffler -6. Koepka -10 birdied the 16th and appears to be on his way to his 5th major before turning 35 which makes him the 7th golfer since 1950. Scheffler -7 birdied the 18th to move into 2nd place ahead of Hovland -6.
Brooks Koepka is the winner of the 2023 PGA Championship with a -9. With it comes a check for $3.15 million and the coveted Wanamaker Trophy. It should also assure him a place on this year’s Ryder Cup Team along with some of his LIV Golf colleagues who have earned the right to represent America and their teammates.
CBS Golf Reporter Amanda Renner asked Brooks, “You said after the masters you promised us you wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. what did you figure out about yourself that allowed you to stay true to that promise. Brooks responded, “This is incredible. I look back to where we were two years ago everything that’s going on. I’m just so happy right now. I’m kind of lost for words but this is just the coolest thing.” Amanda finished by telling Brooks, “You’re just the 20th player in history to reach 5 or more majors an absolutely remarkable week for you.”
Scottie Scheffler -7 along with Viktor Hovland -7 will split the 2nd and 3rd Place money. They will both receive a check for $1.54 million.
The 2024 PGA Championship will be held at Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Ky. from May 16-19.
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