FARMINGDALE, NY– Brooks Koepka may not have had the flashy Saturday round in the 60’s. Or exemplified perfect putting compared to Thursday or Friday.
What Brooks Koepka is showcasing is his unflappability. The mental and physical fortitude to overpower his competition. And to maintain the wide margin of a lead he has built from the start of the PGA Championship.
Koepka entered Moving Day with a seven-shot lead. With his third round of 70, the three-time major winner once again has a seven-shot lead, the largest 54-hole margin at a PGA Championship. And as Koepka explained after his round, he believes that the mental ferocity he possesses at major championships allows him to outplay and outlast his competition.
“I think I’m more focused than any of the golfers out there,” says Koepka. “My focus for majors goes up tenfold.”
Brooks Koepka Continues to Stay Within Himself at PGA Championship
Brooks Koepka is doing everything that golf fans around the world demand of their major champions. He is powerful off the tee, he can craft iron shots from the fairway or the rough to the green, and he can putt superbly. But most of all, Koepka has the tunnel vision that enables him to go about his business, without getting caught up in the energy of the moment.
For the PGA Championship, Koepka is leading the field in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green (3.720), Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (5.77), Greens in Regulation (79.6 percent) and second in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (1.86). It is evident that Koepka is playing a different game compared to the rest of the field, personifying the model of a modern golfer.
But on a day where the lowest round was a 67, shot by Harold Varner III, Koepka had some adversity he had to overcome. After bogeys on 9 and 10, Koepka hit his tee shot on the par-5 13th in the rough. His second shot ended up in the rough as well. But Koepka’s physical will and mental toughness allowed him to get up and down, sinking a stellar putt to get a birdie. The round had been stabilizing and Koepka was off to the races once again, maintaining his wide margin.
“It was a difficult putt,” stated Koepka. “It was just straight downhill, downwind. To see one go in was important, and it gave me momentum to go get a few coming in.”
Rest of the Field Looking Up to Brooks Koepka
With Brooks Koepka having the opportunity to win the PGA Championship wire-to-wire, the other golfers have had the tough task of trying to catch the leader. And it’s proven to be challenging. Bethpage Black golf course does not provide many openings for players to shoot a low round. And Brooks Koepka is performing at an ultimate level.
Harold Varner III, who will be playing with Brooks Koepka in the final group, will attempt to put some pressure on the leader. His third round of 67 consisted of four birdies and zero bogeys. Currently second in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (2.28), Varner III has raised his play exceptionally. Especially considering this is Harold’s fifth major championship played, second of which he made the cut.
But Varner III knows the steep hill he has to climb to beat Koepka. And recognizes the inspiration that Brooks is providing to golfers like him to continue to work and improve.
“The first thing that comes to mind is I think it’s great for golf,” stated Varner III on Brooks Koepka. “If you don’t go to sleep and think, man, this makes me want to work harder, if I can be that good, then I don’t know why you’re playing.”
Brooks Koepka Eager for Opportunity at PGA Championship History
No golfer on the planet has been as dominant the last two years in the major championships than Brooks Koepka. From his U.S. Open victories at Erin Hills and Shinnecock to his PGA Championship win at Bellerive, Koepka has developed a mindset and familiarity with handling the moment when you are atop the leaderboard.
“Every time you get in this position, you learn a little bit of whatever it might be going into the final day,” says Koepka. “I just have to have the same mentality, focus on myself and not anybody else. And at the same time, staying patient and staying in the moment, and every time I do it, I feel like I’m getting better and better at it.”
With a victory Sunday at the PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka is etched into the annals of golf history. No golfer has ever held two back to back major championships simultaneously. Not only would Brooks Koepka complete this feat, but he would win four majors in less than two years. Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus, two of the pillar golfers in the history of the game, haven’t done that.
But for Brooks, his focus isn’t on the monumental history at hand. It’s to play each shot the best way he can. But is he confident he can pull out this major championship? You bet he is.
“I feel confident going into tomorrow. I’m excited. I’m very excited.”
Watch out PGA Tour. The Brooks Koepka show has just reached new heights.