'Not Very Good': Brooks Koepka's PGA Championship Repeat Bid Falls Short

The five-time major champion shot his best round of the week Sunday at Valhalla but the damage was done Saturday.
Brooks Koepka's attempt at a sixth major title ended Saturday at Valhalla.
Brooks Koepka's attempt at a sixth major title ended Saturday at Valhalla. / Clare Grant/Courier Journal / USA TODAY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The defending champion showed up Sunday way out of contention, with no chance of winning his sixth major championship. And Brooks Koepka was blunt, even with a final-round 66, his best of the tournament.

“Not very good. I think it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?” Koepka said afterward.

The five-time major champion put himself through “penalty” workouts after a disappointing tie for 45th at the Masters. He then won the LIV Singapore event two weeks ago to give himself a boost heading to the PGA.

But he didn’t see much reason for positivity.

“I don’t think finishing 30th is progress,’’ he said. “Played good today, played good the other two days. Yesterday just didn't have anything. Was kind of disappointed with the way I finished.”

The difference? “I don’t know, what, about eight shots?”

Well, yes. Koepka shot 74 on Saturday. And the significant strokes-gained statistics were all negative, including off-the-tee, tee-to-green and approach. He also lost more than two strokes putting, needing 31 for the round.

After starting with scores of 67 and 68, it was understandably disappointing.

“Yesterday I don’t think I did one thing good at all,” Koepka said. “Usually when you play bad, you’ve got one thing that you do O.K. and you might putt bad or you might drive it bad. Yesterday was just a combination of everything.”

Koepka now has two weeks off before LIV Golf’s Houston event, which is the week prior to the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

“I feel like I'm playing good,” Koepka said. “It's just yesterday was just kind of unfortunate timing. But I felt like I'm playing all right. I missed a bunch of putts on Friday from inside like five feet, and then yesterday's round was unfortunate. But other than that, I think I'm pretty close to right there.”

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Bob Harig


Bob Harig is a senior golf writer for Sports Illustrated. He has more than 25 years experience covering golf, including 15 at ESPN. Bob is a regular guest on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and has written two books, DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods and Tiger and Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry. He graduated from Indiana University where he earned an Evans Scholarship, named in honor of the great amateur golfer Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. Bob, a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America, lives in Clearwater, Florida.