US PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka in sight of rare major three-peat

By Peter Hanson 4 August 2020 10
US PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka in sight of rare major three-peat

When Brooks Koepka sets his mind to something on a golf course there is little he cannot do.

That statement is particularly true when it comes to the majors, where the American's record over the past three years has been phenomenal.

Koepka has won four times in his last 10 appearances at one of golf's big four tournaments, while his lowest finish in 2019 was a tie for fourth at The Open.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the golfing calendar in 2020 but major golf is back this week, as TPC Harding Park hosts a behind-closed-doors US PGA Championship.

For Koepka, opportunity knocks for a rare achievement for the second time in a little over year as he aims to win the same major three years running.

He came desperately close to doing it at the U.S. Open last year, finishing runner-up to Gary Woodland.

The fact he had the chance to do it once speaks volumes, to have another opportunity so soon is remarkable. To put it into context, no player has won the same major running three years straight in 64 years.

We delve back into history to look at the names Koepka can join by clinching a three-peat on Sunday.

FOUR STRAIGHT WINS AT THE SAME MAJOR

Young Tom Morris: The Open 1868-72

Winning three in a row is hard enough, but incredibly two players have managed four straight wins at the same major. The first was the legendary Young Tom Morris in the 19th century. The eagle-eyed among you will notice the dates are a five-year span. Well, in 1871 the competition was not played as Morris retired the old trophy – a championship belt. When the Claret Jug was introduced in 1872, Morris made it four in a row.

Walter Hagen: PGA Championship 1924-27

The great Walter Hagen won 11 majors in total and had a particular affinity for the PGA Championship, which he won on five occasions – a joint record with Jack Nicklaus. His four victories in this period came in the tournament's match-play era with Jim Barnes, Wild Bill Mehlhorn, Leo Diegel and Joe Turnesa his beaten opponents.

THREE STRAIGHT WINS AT SAME MAJOR

Jamie Anderson: The Open 1877-79

A few years after Morris' triumphs, it was the turn of Jamie Anderson to dominate golf's oldest major. Incredibly, it did not take long at all for the next man to accomplish the feat…

Bob Ferguson: The Open 1880-1882

Indeed, the achievement happened back-to-back at the same major with Bob Ferguson entering the history books. It was so very nearly four too, but he lost a play-off in 1883, when William Fernie lifted the Claret Jug.

Willie Anderson: The U.S. Open 1903-05

The first and as yet only man to win three straight U.S. Open titles. It was Willie Anderson's fourth in the space of five years, a joint record for the tournament. Ben Hogan went back-to-back in 1950 and 1951 (having also triumphed in 1948), while Curtis Strange and Koepka have also successfully defended the trophy. 

Peter Thomson: The Open 1954-56

Hall of Famer Peter Thomson remains the only player to win three straight majors since golf's Grand Slam was acknowledged as The Open, the Masters, the U.S. Open and the US PGA Championship. Sensationally, in a six-year span from 1953 to 58, the Australian won four times and finished runner-up twice, before he added a fifth title in 1965.

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Peter Hanson

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