Brooks Koepka wins PGA Championship with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry tied for seventh and twelfth respectively

Brooks Koepka smiles on the second hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club on Sunday, May 21, 2023, in Pittsford, N.Y. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)© AP

Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry closed with one-under 69s but left Oak Hill with mixed emotions as Brooks Koepka claimed the PGA Championship and his fifth Major win.

While Lowry admitted he didn't get the most out of his game yet feels close to another big win after finishing tied 12th on level par, McIlroy confessed he never felt he had a chance in Rochester and feels "sort of close but also so far away at the same time."

His one-under-par closing round left him tied for seventh on two-under, seven shots behind the impressive Koepka, who shot 67 to win by his third PGA title by two shots from Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland.

"I'll look back on this week as proud of how I hung in there, and I guess my attitude and sticking to it, not having my best stuff," said McIlroy, who made five birdies and four bogeys and ended up playing second fiddle to the club professional Michael Block, who stole the show with a 71 that featured a slam-dunk hole in one at the 15th to secure 15th place and a return to the PGA next year.

"Probably not a ton of memorable golf shots hit. My playing partner today hit a couple memorable golf shots, though. Yeah, the atmosphere out there, playing with Michael, was unbelievable.

"We both got amazing support, but you know, he got unbelievable support, understandably so, being in this position as a club pro and playing so well and, you know, competing into the latter stages of a major championship. It was really impressive. It was nice to go out there and share the course with him for 18 holes."

Five behind starting the day, the Holywood star made an early statement, ripping a wedge to 18 inches at the first to get within four of Koepka.

But he had to work hard to turn in level par as he went pin hunting and short-sided himself at the second, then dropped another shot at the par-five fourth, having failed to see the fairway at any stage.

He would birdie the sixth from 13 feet but then dropped another shot at the seventh, where he flew through the green.

He did not let his head go down, however, and made back-to-back birdies at the ninth and 10th to find himself just five shots off the lead with eight holes to play.

A birdie at the 13th left him five back, but he missed an eight-footer at the 14th for a birdie and was soon six back after missing the 15th green as Block added to his fairytale story by flying his seven-iron into the hole for an ace.

After the disappointment of the Masters, McIlroy shook off that hangover but admitted he never felt he had the game to end his nine-year Major drought.

"I guess I just came in here trying to play a golf tournament, not thinking about -- honestly, not thinking about getting myself in contention," McIlroy said. "Not thinking about winning. I honestly didn't feel like I had a chance of winning this week. So it was just about going out there and playing the best I could and trying to make the most of it."

He added: "I feel sort of close but also so far away at the same time. It's hard to explain.

"I feel like sometimes it was the worst I could have played, but then at the same time, it's like the best I could have done. It's weird -- I'm sort of -- it just doesn't feel quite where it needs to be, and again, I just need to go back home and work on some stuff. I guess just try to figure it out."

Lowry felt he should have got more out of his game, but he's upbeat about the summer ahead after he finished third in the field for proximity to the hole and closed with a one-under 69 to tie for 12th on level par.

"It's been okay; I played pretty good today," said the Offaly man, who made life difficult with a three-putt bogey at the first but birdied the fourth and followed a bogey at the 10th with an eagle two at the 14th and a birdie at the 16th before dropping a late shot at the 17th.

"I gave myself a lot of chances, gave myself a chance to do something. It was one of those weeks where I was going away. Going probably should have been better again.

"But it's another week at a major where I'm out there, and I feel like that brought a lot of my best for me and pretty happy with my performance."

Projected to move up from 104th to 89th in the FedExCup standings, with only the top 70 making it to the FedEx St. Jude Championship for the Playoffs; he's trying hard to stay positive and believes a good week is close.

"Look, I just have to keep telling myself that because it's easy, I suppose to lose a bit of confidence from not having great finishes or finishing on the podium or in the top five," added Lowry, who will take a week off and play four events in a row at the Memorial, the Canadian Open, the US Open and the designated Travelers Championship.

"But I'm very close to doing something. I would say that I'm out there every day, and I'm probably not getting the best score possible every day, and I'm still out there playing, you know, competing at the top of the leaderboard.

"So that's quite nice. I've a week off now and then a good stretch in the summer and another couple of majors coming up."