A career-best tie for fourth place in the US PGA Championship earned Cam Davis an invitation to the 2024 Masters.
Media release via Tony Webeck of Australian Golf Media
On a pulsating final day where Australians Davis and Cameron Smith equalized a low final round score at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, Brooks Koepka (67) confirmed his main event monster status with a three-stroke victory in New York.
Leading with one early on Sunday, Koepka took charge of three straight birdies from the second hole for the first time since our 54-hole major-level leader scored 3-under or better on his first four holes in round 4. Own Ian Baker-Finch on his way to victory at The Open at Royal Birkdale in 1991.
Playing partner Viktor Hovland replied back-to-back birdies on fourth and fifth, the pair separated by one stroke after both shot at par-4 in seventh.
The margin was still one as they both birdie on short par-4 14, but Koepka put one hand on the Wanamaker Trophy with a three-bar swing on par-4 16.
As Koepka birdied a five-footer, Hovland was forced to drop after he fired his second shot from the track bunker into the grassy bank.
This led to a double bogey that gave Koepka a four-stroke lead with just two holes to play.
As Koepka wrapped up his third PGA Championship win, Davis established himself at the club as the first to go 3-under with a glorious 5-under-65 final round.
Rounds of 71-70-71 tied Davis for 16th over 54 holes, and he fell further with a bogey on his first hole.
A 10-foot birdie on par 3-fifth gave the New South Welshman back square for his inning before closing the front nine with a three-foot and 30-foot birdie on eighth and ninth respectively.
Four par followed before Davis hit arguably 14th shot of the week out of par 4. He shot from a 319-yard tee to just seven feet from the hole and converted an eagle shot to go into the red numbers for the week.
The last 12-foot birdie in 17 proved crucial, finishing level with Kurt Kitayama (65) and Bryson DeChambeau (70) in a tie for fourth place at 3-under, his best finish in a major championship.
“Every time you have a really good round in tough conditions, it’s just another little positive voice in the back of your mind that yes I can do it,” said Davis, who will receive an invitation to the Augusta National next year as a top four finish and will be excluded from next month’s US Open if he moves into the top 60 of the official world golf ranking from his current position of 68.
“Even when it’s hard – even when the bump is really deep and the pins are taut and firming
fast – you can still play really good golf and score points, especially at the end of the main event.
“That’s where I want to be. I would love to win one or more of these for sure.
“This is another step for me towards that goal.
“I was able to play in other directions now, which was a pretty good goal to get out of it.”
Like Davis, Cameron Smith climbed up the leaderboard on Sunday, finishing ninth at 1-under par.
The pair were tied in the fourth round at the PGA Championship in Oak Hill, and with just two months left to defend the Open, he showed Smith that he was close to his best.
“It’s starting to get really fun,” Smith summed up his game after a more productive day with the driver on Sunday.
“I think a little too much time off with golf clubs probably delayed how I wanted to start the year. Now it’s starting to get really cool.
“I’m starting to feel confident with these irons where when I play golf well I feel like I’m there.
“When I’m on the fairway with the iron in my hand, I really feel like I can compete there, and that’s what I’m doing.”
A tie for 18th place will earn a special PGA TOUR temporary membership for Min Woo Lee, who birdied the first and 18th holes in his 1-over 71 round.
Kiwi Ryan Fox (71) also earned a special PGA Tour temporary membership, tied for 23rd.
1 Brooks Koepka 72-66-66-67-271
T4 Cam Davis 71-70-71-65-277
T9 Cameron Smith 72-72-70-65-279
T18 Min Woo Lee 73-67-71-71-282
T23 Ryan Fox (New Zealand) 68-73-71-71-283
T29 Adam Scott 68-74-74-69-285
T40 Lucas Herbert 75-69-72-70-286
MC Jason Day 76-72-148
MC David Micheluzzi 76-73-149
MC Steven Alker (New Zealand) 80-72-152