The dust has settled on the 2023 PGA Championship which can allow the true winners and losers to become clear. Let’s take them in turn.
2023 PGA Championship Winners
Each year the PGA Championship welcomes a number of PGA club professionals to compete alongside the members of the PGA Tour.
Among the club pros welcomed to Oak Hill this year was Michael Block who usually spends his days giving lessons for $125 at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in California.
Block became a cult hero this week and dominated the storylines during his charge to a T15 and earning a pay cheque of $288,333, beating names like Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, and defending champion Justin Thomas.
Whilst paired with Rory McIlroy, Block made a slam-dunk ace at the 15th hole on Sunday and will now have a chance at a second payday this weekend after emotionally earning a sponsors invite to the Charles Schwab Challenge.
While Bryson’s fitness and form had been declining over the last few years, so had his popularity.
Bryson would have been trying to prove his ability to the world and himself during this year’s Masters which was his first event in the limelight since the LIV move.
Bryson carded a whimpering 74-74 to miss the cut for the second year running. Despite being briefly booed during Saturday’s round at the PGA Championship, Bryson now has reasons to feel positive after a new coach and health regime led him to finish T4 at Oak Hill.
Walking away from another major empty-handed may initially feel like a loss for Hovland, but he has plenty to be positive about.
Hovland started the major season well by taking the first-round lead at the 2023 Masters, and was only 3 back of Jon Rahm going into Sunday.
A disappointing final round of 74 poured cold water on his aims of a maiden victory at Augusta National.
At the PGA Championship Hovland held the 36-hole lead and was in the final pairing on Sunday with Koepka.
A two-under final round of 68 shows how Hovland has mentally improved in the big moments this year already. This will give the young Norwegian a lot to be positive about going into the US Open in June.
Min Woo Lee and Ryan Fox
Strong 2023 performances for these two have resulted in them being granted Special Temporary Memberships on the PGA Tour for this season; helped by their finishes at the PGA Championship.
This gives Lee and Fox great opportunities to play themselves into the top 125 in the FedEx Cup this year and earn a full tour card for the lucrative 2024 season.
2023 PGA Championship Losers
Fowler played his way into the PGA Championship after great form early in the season and earning the 50th ranking in the OWGR.
Playing only his fourth major in three years, Fowler needed to give a strong performance at his first major of the year to continue his rise up the money list and OWGR.
Fowler posted 73-73 at Oak Hill to miss the cut and fall two places in the OWGR.
Luckily, Fowler has already qualified for the US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club.
Ryder Cup Team Europe
Team USA captain Zach Johnson has been facing difficult questions about the prospect of LIV golfers playing at the Ryder Cup and has suggested they will not receive any wild card picks.
However, Johnson has confirmed that LIV golfers can play if they are in the top six automatic spots.
Having a player of Koepka’s caliber on Team USA will be a big blow for Team Europe if he can maintain his form heading into Rome in September.
With three career majors to his name, Spieth only needs the PGA Championship to complete the career grand slam and join an elite group of only five players.
Spieth finished T29 at five over par, a considerable distance off Koepka’s winning 9-under.
Win or lose, focus now turns to the West Coast in June when the US Open will be staged at the Los Angeles Country Club for the first time.