Brooks Koepka Shoots Course Record, Blows Away Field in Opening Round of the PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka

Heading into the PGA Championship, most of the talk centered around Tiger Woods, especially after he won the Masters last month. That meant that Brooks Koepka, the defending champion, and co-betting favorite once again came in under the radar.

Luckily for Brooks, he has gotten very comfortable in that role as he once again showed us on Thursday morning.┬áThe defending PGA Champion and back-to-back defending U.S. Open champion once again showed us why he has quickly become “Mr. Major”.

Starting on the back nine, Koepka shot a course record 7-under 63 at Bethpage Black to take a commanding lead, leaving the rest of the field in his dust and scratching their heads.

The three-time major winner got off to a fast start, birdieing his first hole of the day, the par 4 10th. What was a blowup hole for many on Thursday morning, including Woods and Rickie Fowler, was the start of a truly historic round for Brooks. He added birdies at 14 and 18 to make the turn in an impressive 3-under 32 before lighting up the front nine, shooting a 4-under 31.

Not only did Koepka fire a new course record with his 63, he did it without birdieing any of the par 5s or dropping a single shot on the day. Here is stats guru Justin Ray to put Koepka’s round into perspective, or at least try:

As if today’s round wasn’t historic enough, Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press also gave us this gem:

Through the morning wave, Koepka held a 4 shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood. Barring a monumental collapse, you have to assume that the next three days will be somewhat of a victory lap for Brooks given the way he is currently playing.

After watching him play today, I can’t help but think back to this quote he gave during his press conference earlier in the week:

The way he played today, there are exactly 0 guys that can beat him.

Author: Dan Hauser

Dan is the co-founder of The Stiff Shaft and the website's Senior Writer. A South Florida native, Dan has been covering golf since 2013 and playing it his entire life. He is still waiting for his first hole-in-one.