Koepka seeks fifth major and landmark win for LIV at PGA

Koepka seeks fifth major and landmark win for LIV at PGA

Landmark opportunity? Four-time major winner Brooks Kopeka carries a one-stroke lead into the final round of the PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka, seeking his fifth major title, could become the first player to win a major while with Saudi-backed LIV Golf as he leads in Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship.

The 33-year-old American stood on six-under par 204 after 54 holes at Oak Hill with Canada’s Corey Conners and Norway’s Viktor Hovland one stroke adrift and American Bryson DeChambeau, another LIV player, three off the pace.

“A major championship would mean a lot to anybody,” Koepka said. “To win one would be fantastic.”

Koepka was among the stars who jumped from the PGA Tour to breakaway LIV Golf, which offered record $25 million purses for 54-hole events, despite concern over Saudi Arabian human rights issues.

The PGA banned LIV talent from its events, with a legal fight between them due in court next May. In the meantime, the majors provide the only outlet for competition between the tours.

In all, there were six major winners from LIV in the field of 156 with a combined 15 major crowns, but none captured as a member of the upstart circuit, not even Australian Cam Smith’s British Open title last July.

Koepka also led entering the final round at last month’s Masters but, in his words, “choked” away the green jacket to world number one Jon Rahm of Spain.

Koepka, who shared second at Augusta National with LIV’s Phil Mickelson, has a chance at a measure of redemption at Oak Hill with a third career PGA Championship. Only Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen have won more.

Working to deny him are Conners, trying to join 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir as Canada’s only male major champions, and Hovland, seeking his first major title after sharing fourth at last year’s British Open and seventh at the Masters.

They have grinded out pars and made clutch birdie putts on a formidable layout softened by day-long rain showers on Saturday, when only nine players had under-par rounds.

Australian Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, showed good scoring was on offer Sunday with a run of three birdies in four holes starting at the par-3 fifth.

DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open winner, has trimmed down from his bulked up form of past years but kept his power off the tee to be a contender.

Justin Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, was on two-under and trying to end his decade-long major title drought. He could join Jim Barnes, the 1916 and 1919 winner, as the only Englishmen to capture the PGA Championship.

Second-ranked Scottie Scheffler, last year’s Masters winner, was also on two-under. The American would overtake Rahm for world number one with a triumph.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland was on one-under after struggling to find the fairway in his first three rounds. The world number three is trying to win his first major title since 2014.

American Michael Block, a club professional in California, was on level par after three rounds of 70. A top-10 finish by Block would be the first by a club pro in the event since 1988.


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