Brooks Koepka, who won the US Open in 2017 and 2018, claimed a fifth major last month with a two-shot victory at the PGA Championship; Can Koepka enjoy more major success? Watch the US Open live on Thursday from 3pm on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 13/06/23 8:31pm
Brooks Koepka is relishing more “chaos” at the US Open as he looks to follow on from his PGA Championship success and continue his ambitious pursuit of a double-digit major tally.
Koepka won four majors between 2017 and 2019 before seeing his career hampered by injury, with the former world No 1 then switching from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit last summer.
The American bounced back from squandering a two-shot lead in the final round of The Masters in April, where he finished tied-second as Jon Rahm claimed victory, to claim a fifth major title with a two-shot victory at Oak Hill last month.
Koepka is among the pre-tournament favourites once again at Los Angeles Country Club, with the 33-year-old confident of focusing on his own game in a week where conversation is dominated by the shock agreement between the tours to try and unify the sport.
“The more chaotic things get, the easier it gets for me,” Koepka explained in his pre-tournament press conference. “Everything starts to slow down and I am able to focus on whatever I need to focus on while everybody else is dealing with distractions, worried about other things.
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“I think there’s a few of them [reasons why he peaks at majors], but I think it [enjoying chaos] is definitely one of them. I enjoy the chaos.
“I’m pretty sure I know what it takes to compete in majors. I’ve won five of them and been second four times. And just over my track record how to prepare when you’re here, how to prepare when you’re home for it, I’ve got that, I guess, on lock.”
Koepka sets ambitious major target
Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Walter Hagen are the only male golfers in history to win 10 or major titles in their careers, although Koepka feels he can join that group after a PGA Championship victory he describes as the favourite of his major titles.
“They all mean something different, but this last one [PGA Championship], for all the stuff I had to deal with, all the pain, the tears, all the stuff that went into it,” Koepka, who won the US Open in 2017 and 2018, added.
“Like I said, there’s probably five, seven people in this whole world that really know what I went through and that were there every step of the way. I think they enjoyed it maybe even more than I did.”
On his major target, Koepka said: “I think one thing that was always harped on me was you knew how many majors Jack [Nicklaus] has, you knew how many Tiger [Woods] has, you knew how many Arnold Palmer has, you knew how many Gary Player, [Tom] Watson, all these legends, but I never knew how many PGA Tour events or wins they had total.
“That’s what you’re judged on. It’s major championships. You look at basketball, you’re judged on how many championships you’ve won, not how many games you’ve won. Same thing in every sport.
“Like I said, double digits, that’s what I’m trying to get to. I don’t think it’s out of the question for me. I think the way I’ve prepared, the way I’ve kind of suited my game for these things is going to help me.
“I’m only 33, so I’ve definitely got quite a bit of time. I’ve just got to stay healthy and keep doing what I’m doing.”
Could Koepka return to the PGA Tour?
Koepka was left surprised by the PGA Tour and DP World Tour’s plans to merge their commercial operations with the golf-related businesses of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), who bankroll LIV, although refused to get drawn on his future career plans.
“We [LIV players] didn’t hear anything about it,” Koepka explained. I think that’s the one thing that shocked everybody the most. I ran into Rickie [Fowler] and JT [Justin Thomas] after watching the whole thing and I asked if they knew, and they said they didn’t know.
“I’m not going to go into the future. I don’t have a crystal ball with me. I’m just worried about the US Open. If I can get to [major] No 6 pretty quick, that would be nice. It’s a lot of what-if games. I’m not going to play the what-if game. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”
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