Golf: Koepka makes solid start in bid for PGA Championship three-peat

Golf: Koepka makes solid start in bid for PGA Championship three-peat

PGA: PGA Championship - First Round
Aug 6, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Brooks Koepka tees off on the 4th during the first round of the 2020 PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park. PHOTO: Reuters/ Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

SAN FRANCISCO: Brooks Koepka may have fallen just short in his bid for a US Open three-peat last year but on Thursday (Aug 6) the man who appears built for majors took another step towards a similar bold bid at the PGA Championship.

Following his four-under-par 66 in the opening round at TPC Harding Park, two-times defending champion Koepka was asked if a win this week would carry any added significance considering Gary Woodland denied him a chance to complete a hat-trick of wins at the US Open last year.

"Yeah, it would mean extra because I wasn't able to do it at the US Open. I think that drove me nuts a little bit," said Koepka. "I played good golf but I just got beat by Gary."

Koepka is looking to become the first player to win the tournament three years in a row since it switched from being a matchplay event to a stroke play event in 1958.

The world number six suddenly rediscovered his form at last week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, where he finished in a share of second place on the heels of a miserable stretch during which his best result in three starts was a share of 62nd.

Koepka, who started the year's first major on the back nine, offset a bogey at his second hole with four birdies to reach the turn at three-under 32. He followed a bogey at the par-four first with birdies on two of his next three holes.

Since 2016, Koepka is 74 under par in majors, a staggering number especially when considering the next closet is Jordan Spieth at 22 under.

While the PGA Championship leaderboard was a crowded sight featuring many top names, Koepka was speaking a confident tone ahead of his second round.

"I mean, it's only 18 holes right now. I feel good. I feel confident. I'm excited for the next three days," said Koepka.

"I can definitely play a lot better, and just need to tidy a few things up, and we'll be there come Sunday on the back nine."

Source: Reuters/ac

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