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Tournament Highlights – PGA Championship 2023

Tournament Highlights - PGA Championship 2023
(UPI/Alamy)

Here are all the key details you need to know about what happened in the 2023 PGA Championship, including how Brooks Koepka won and insights about the course.

Location

Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, N.Y.

Yardage

7,394; par 70

Tournament Record

264 – Brooks Koepka (2018)

Purse

$17.5 million (2022)

Tournament Insight

The PGA Championship is the flagship event of the PGA of America. The championship has been played since 1916. Originally held at match play, it switched to stroke play in 1958. For a long time, it was played in August before switching to May dates in 2019. The championship moves to a different course each year, incorporating both classic designs and more modern courses.

Oak Hill Country Club near Rochester, N.Y., hosted the PGA for the fourth time in 2023. The championship will be held at Valhalla Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky in 2024.

Course Insight

Yardage: 7,394; par 70

The East Course at Oak Hill, designed by Donald Ross, opened in 1925. It was tweaked significantly by Robert Trent Jones in the 1950s and George and Tom Fazio in the 1970s. In 2019-20, the club undertook a renovation project, hiring Andrew Green to bring back Donald Ross features that had been lost through the years, with the results receiving high praise. Consulting original Ross plans, Green expanded greens and adjusted contours to restore lost pin positions and he also redid the bunkering. He built a new par-3 fifth hole in the Ross style in an area where Jones had built a par-3 that was later abandoned in the Fazio redesign, lengthened the par-4 sixth that utilizes Allen Creek as a formidable hazard, and eliminated a Fazio par-3 (the sixth in the Fazio layout). The renovation eliminated a pond on the par-3 15th that the Fazios had installed, replacing it with a swale. But the Fazios’ change was retained on the 18th, where the green was moved back to sit on a plateau and lengthen the hole. While considered a restoration, care was taken to ensure that the course remains a test for the modern pro, which proved to be the case as only 11 pros broke par 280 for four rounds in the 2023 PGA on a course that was stretched to 7,394 yards.

How Brooks Keopka won in 2023

Brooks Koepka shot 66s in the second and third rounds to grab a one-stroke lead over Viktor Hovland and Corey Conners. Koepka never lost the lead on Sunday as he claimed his fifth major title and third PGA Championship, but it was a tight battle with Hovland for much of the final round. Koepka birdied Nos. 2, 3 and 4 to go up by three, but the margin went back down to one through six holes. Koepka birdied the 12th to take a two-stroke lead, but Hovland birdied 13 and 14, with a Koepka birdie on 14 keeping him ahead. The issue was settled on the 16th, where Hovland hit his second shot into the bank of a fairway bunker and double bogeyed, while Koepka made his seventh birdie in what would ultimately be a 67. Scottie Scheffler rallied late with a 65 and Hovland birdied 18 as they tied for second, two behind Koepka.

  • Koepka survived a first round in which he only hit six greens, shooting a 72 as he only needed 24 putts.
  • Koepka has six top-five finishes in 11 PGA Championship starts, victories in 2018, 2019 and 2023, T2 in 2021, T4 in 2016 and T5 in 2015.
  • Michael Block’s T15 was the best finish by a PGA professional since 1986, spiced by a hole-in-one on the 15th hole of the final round.

This was first published in Essential Golf – you can read the complete magazine here.