Brooks Koepka stepped out of the shadow of his more famous friend Peter Uihlein when he claimed his maiden European Tour victory in the Turkish Airlines Open this year.
It was further confirmation of the talent that coach Claude Harmon III described as follows: “He’s as good a young player as I've seen. Not many players have the kind of speed Brooks has, and he has the perfect attitude. When he plays bad, he walks off the course and says, ‘Let’s fix this right now’. When it’s fixed, he says, ‘I’m gonna shoot low tomorrow’.”
Koepka’s amateur credentials established him as a future star of the game. Playing for Florida State University, he was a three-time All American, and he qualified for the 2012 US Open while still an amateur.
He turned professional in 2012 and, contrary to many young Americans, took his game to Europe in the belief that it was the best place for him to become an all-round player.
Teeing off his career on the European Challenge Tour, Koepka won in his rookie season in the Challenge de Catalunya.
In 2013 he had an outstanding season, winning three times on the Challenge Tour, two fo these by the big margins of seven and 10 strokes.
His victory in the Challenge de España came with a record tournament total of 24-under-par 260 and by a record 10 strokes.
With these performances he earned his European Tour card for the 2014 season, and then secured his place on the tour with his victory in the Turkish Airlines Open.
This year, Koepka’s desire to be a global player also saw him perform well on the PGA Tour, where he finished tied fourth in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and tied eighth in the Frys.com Open. He also achieved his best finish in a Major of tied fourth in the US Open.
It’s been a rapid rise for Koekpa, and one he’s even been slightly surprised by.
“Yeah, to look where I was a year and a half ago on The Challenge Tour and now to be a winner on The European Tour is incredible. It’s very special.”