The 105th edition of the PGA Championship, played in New York’s Oak Hill in Rochester, has not seen the dream debut of a Spaniard in the record of the major that is missing. Jon Rahm has fought on a very demanding course that he had never stepped on against the elements, including the weather, but his lack of accuracy with the putter, problems with the short game, loose shots and unfavorable bounces of the ball… have ended up leading to some strange numbers on him.
In the final round, the ‘León de Barrika’ arrived with fourteen bogeys, plus a double bogey, in the initial 54 holes. He wanted a clean course and a lap under par and with that confidence he went out onto the green carpet under a radiant sun after gray days and a lot of rain. Birdie at 1, birdie at 2 and palpable regularity. He seemed comfortable. The roller coaster of previous days seemed out of order… but Oak Hill wanted to give him one last shake: bogeys at 10, 17 and 18 for a card of 71 shots (+1, +7 total), ranked 50th.
“I started very well but then I made mistakes that I shouldn’t have made. I am surprised myself by some errors, like 10 and 17. The good thing about this sport is that when you think you are invincible it brings you back to earth and reminds you that golf is a continuous sport that causes you to stumble again when you think you have it. Not that I thought that but it keeps you very humble. My game hasn’t been as fluid as I would have liked this week and I haven’t been comfortable with my swing. It was all very well thought out and I was two more seconds on top of the ball. I have had to think more than necessary to try to save my golf”, said Rahm in constructive self-criticism.
The 28-year-old Spaniard did not choose to lift the Wanamaker trophy in a precious battle that was between big names like Koepka (four majors), Rose (1), DeChambeau (1), McIlroy (4), Scheffler (1).. .plus a huge talent like Hovland. The 33-year-old American, the 20th player in history who could reach the five majors, was trying to strengthen himself based on experience, but the 25-year-old Norwegian did not give up and stayed close. Behind, the rest of the applicants needed to loosen up… something that began to happen. Koepka squandered much of the advantage gained after birdies at 2, 3 and 4 with two bogeys in seven holes when he had only made one in the previous 30. The birdie on the 10th gave Brooks wings and air… which he lost with another bogey on the 11th Three holes to play. Scheffler was close (-6) … but it depended on a miracle although he established his assault on the world throne of Rahm, who tomorrow will be second in the ranking.
While the leading shortlist fought for the title, the idol Michael Block (ranked 3,580 and club player) continued with his fairy tale and made a hole in 1, the 15th, eagle that turned the public on and brought tears to their eyes. eyes. The definitive moment of the 105th edition of the PGA Championship happened on the 16th when a mistake by Hovland at the exit of the bunker, leaving the ball embedded again in the sand, plus a bad putt made him make a double bogey that left Koepka, who made a birdie, with four shots ahead with two holes to go and the title practically in his hands despite the bogey in the 17th. Victory finally for the player now from the Saudi LIV, the first to win a major, with a two-stroke advantage over Scheffler, who regains the world number one to the detriment of Rahm, and Hovland.