SAN FRANCISCO – As humble brags go it would be tough to top Brooks Koepka on Thursday. Big Game Brooks had just finished off the kind of round that’s made him a major machine in recent years and the conversation had predictably pivoted to the elephant in the room and Koepka’s quest to win his third consecutive PGA Championship. For contrast purposes, the question was phrased in the form of a comment and focused on how meaningful it would be to achieve a Grand Slam three-peat this week. Koepka’s mind raced back to last year’s U.S. Open and his inability to go back-to-back-to-back in the national championship. “I think that drove me nuts a little bit,” he said with a glare. Beyond the obvious, which is how cool it must be to find fault in not being able to win your third consecutive U.S. Open, the moment also provided a snapshot into what motivates the enigmatic 30-year-old. For context, consider that Walter Hagen is the only player to win three consecutive PGA Championships. Young Tom Morris (Open Championship), Jaime Anderson (Open Championship), Bob Ferguson (Open Championship), Willie Anderson (U.S. Open) and Peter Thomson (Open Championship) are the others to three-peat at a major. PGA Championship: Scores | Full coverage The common theme here is all these players are no longer with us. When your only contemporaries are ghosts you’ve reached the next level. Koepka’s 4-under 66 Thursday at TPC Harding Park left him exactly where he wants to be, a stroke off the lead and still trending in the right direction. The swagger is back, which is saying something considering that a month ago he looked nothing like the major magician he’d become in recent years. A left knee injury last fall kept him on the sideline until February and his best finish before COVID-19 halted play was a T-43 in Los Angeles. Things weren’t much better when he returned from quarantine and a missed cut at last month’s 3M Open felt like rock bottom. He returned to South Florida for a session with Claude Harmon III and Pete Cowen. “To be honest with you, it was probably the first time I think I hit 40 balls and there was a club 70 yards behind me, I chucked it and then threw one in front of me,” Koepka said. “I was pretty heated, to say the right word.” Golf Central Koepka (66) threw a club and found his swing BY Ryan Lavner — August 6, 2020 at 5:28 PM Eleven days ago, Brooks Koepka was working through yet another frustrating range session. On Thursday, he opened his Wanamaker defense with a 66. Maybe he just needed to blow off some steam. Maybe he needed some pointed words from Cowen, who’d been in England since March. Or maybe he just needed a major championship to wrest him from his post-Grand Slam funk. Whatever the inspiration, he posted his best finish in a year last week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (T-2) and he arrived at the season’s first and only major looking like a new man. Or, to be more precise, looking like the old guy who treats major championships like they owe him money. His opening round is what we’ve come to appreciate in Koepka – ninth in driving distance, upon its completion; 10th in strokes gained: approach to the green; eighth in strokes gained: putting. When Brooks is on there simply aren’t any flaws for a major championship venue to expose as he’s proven that, from Erin Hills to Bethpage Black. “It’s phenomenal. It’s a hell of an achievement. He seems to have that knack for it for sure,” former U.S. Open champ Justin Rose said. “If it’s the Masters, someone might be particularly suited to that golf course. But when you’re winning on obviously different tracks, U.S. Opens, PGAs, you’ve got to kind of respect that game, and that skill set travels really well.” Following nearly 12 months of rehabilitation and rough play, Koepka explained that it was after that missed cut in Minnesota that he reached his turning point. Although he’s on the feel side of let’s say, Bryson DeChambeau, once Harmon and Cowen began studying his swing on a balance mat the issue became evident. “At impact I’m about 70 percent of my weight is on my left side, and when we were looking at it, it was the opposite. It was 70 percent on the right side,” he said. “We knew what we had to do was get on that left side, and it’s been good since.” Koepka on club-throwing, post-MC range session: ‘I was pretty heated’ The turnaround has been as dramatic as it is timely with three majors scheduled for the next four months (two of them for the 2020-21 season), and it was impossible to ignore the subtle tells Koepka gives away when things are flowing. “Getting there. It’s getting a lot better. I mean, I feel right where I should be,” was how he described the current state of his game. There’s something about that humble and entirely innocent brag from last year’s U.S. Open that fuels this. It would be difficult, if not utterly foreign, for others to contemplate the “frustration” of not being able to win your third consecutive U.S. Open (it’s worth pointing out he did finish runner-up to Gary Woodland). It’s also probably the best explanation of what makes Brooks, Brooks.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA federal judge has ruled that the Obama Administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County, Calif., without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. The ruling came in response to a suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, challenging a September 2011 decision by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to auction off about 2,500 acres of land in southern Monterey County to oil companies.“This is a watershed moment — the first court opinion to find a federal lease sale invalid for failing to address the dangers of fracking,” said Brendan Cummings, senior counsel at the Center, who argued the case for the plaintiffs.Fracking employs huge volumes of water mixed with sand and chemicals to blast open rock formations and extract oil and gas. The controversial technique is already being used in hundreds — perhaps thousands — of California oil and gas wells. Oil companies are aggressively trying to frack the Monterey Shale, which stretches from the northern San Joaquin Valley into Los Angeles County, and west to the coast. Fracking, whether for oil or natural gas, has been tied to water and air pollution in other states, and releases huge quantities of methane, a dangerously potent greenhouse gas. The process also routinely employs numerous toxic chemicals, including methanol, benzene and trimenthylbenzene. A recent study from the Colorado School of Public Health found that fracking contributes to neurological and respiratory problems in people living near fracked wells, while putting them at higher risk of cancer at the same time.“We hope this court ruling acts as a wake-up call that steers the federal government away from sacrificing California’s public lands for dangerous oil development,” added Cummings.The court has asked for a joint recommendation on next steps in the case. The Center and the Sierra Club believe the lease sale should be set aside. At a minimum, no drilling or fracking on the leases will be allowed before the completion of thorough analysis of the environmental risks.(Source: Center for Biologic Diversity)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
Related TopicsJohn ClaytonJohnny Manziel Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE. Matt Loede According to one NFL insider, the end of the Johnny Manziel era in Cleveland will end on Sunday when the Browns finish a horrible season at home against the Steelers.John Clayton of ESPN reports that he thinks Manziel is done as far as his tenure in Cleveland goes, stating the following in a segment on ‘SportsCenter’: “I think he’s over, I really do, because the team now is in a position to draft — most likely — the first quarterback in the draft, and whatever they do, and if they do take a quarterback, you know that they’re not going to stay with Johnny Manziel.“They’ll try to flip him for a low draft choice – fifth-round, sixth-round pick – Dallas would be a likely destination, but I think you can understand that there’s disappointment with the way this all worked out.”Here’s the video of Clayton on Manziel, who won’t play Sunday against the Steelers due to a concussion.
By Joe ChapmanTWO interesting matches will be played today on the penultimate day of the preliminary round in the Linden Amateur Basketball Association-organised LABA/Youth Basketball Guyana/Powerade Linden Regional Under-19 basketball Championship.The Linden Technical Institute (LTI) side is the only unbeaten team in the tournament thus far and will play their final game against Wisburg Secondary while the winless schools, Harmony Secondary and Christianburg Wismar Secondary, clash at 16.00hrs.In the latest round of play last Friday, LTI out-played the challenges of New Silvercity Secondary 78-36 after establishing a commanding lead at half time– 43-11.They were once led by the duo of Daniel Lee and Jamal Gilkes as Lee netted 24 points and Gilkes 16. Support also came from Shamar Chapman and Randy Patioir who both netted 12 points.In the other scheduled game, Harmony failed to show up against Mackenzie High.On Saturday, New Silvercity Secondary rebounded to beat Christianburg-Wismar Secondary 34-14 as Kobe Tappin had a top-score of 21 for the winners while Odinnie Reece played well to score six for the losers.The other game could not be played due to rain and that final game between Wisburg and Mackenzie High is to be played tomorrow with the semi-finals set for Wednesday at the Mackenzie Sports Club hard court.Currently, Linden Technical Institute are ahead with eight points, winning all of their four games played while in second position is New Silvercity Secondary who have completed their five games and have eight points from three wins and two losses.Mackenzie High School is third with seven points from three wins and one loss; fourth is Christianburg-Wismar Secondary with four points from three games played which they lost and at the bottom is Harmony Secondary School with no wins from four games.After Wednesday’s semi-finals, the final is set for Friday at the tournament venue–the MSC hard court.