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

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. 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.

Reuters | San Francisco | Updated: 07-08-2020 03:47 IST | Created: 07-08-2020 03:47 IST
Golf-Koepka makes solid start in bid for PGA Championship three-peat

Brooks Koepka may have fallen just short in his bid for a U.S. Open three-peat last year but on Thursday 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 U.S. Open last year.

"Yeah, it would mean extra because I wasn't able to do it at the U.S. 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."


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