Koepka drives away his fears

Brooks Koepka (West Palm Beach, 1990) has always seemed like an indestructible golfer.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 May 2023 Monday 22:31
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Koepka drives away his fears

Brooks Koepka (West Palm Beach, 1990) has always seemed like an indestructible golfer. With his laid-back appearance even in the most tense situations, his stocky figure and his quickness in the game a rare blessing, he has managed to find his way back to the top. "I am aware that I look like a bad boy who never smiles or expresses anything on the course, but in reality I consider myself open and honest," he remarked on Sunday at Oak Hill after winning the PGA, the fifth major of his career, which equals him to Seve Ballesteros or Bryon Nelson.

At the end of the last decade, his ability to accumulate victories in Grand Slam tournaments was astonishing. Between 2017 and 2019 he added four, becoming the indisputable reference of his generation. But injuries put a stop to his rise to legend. The hip and knee began to give him problems and he even had to undergo surgery in 2021 after a year to forget.

“I think the low point of his career came when he missed the cut at the Masters that year,” revealed his caddy, Ricky Elliott. "People are not aware of how bad I've had," added a new champion Koepka.

In the middle of the recovery process, when he seemed to have disappeared from the fight for victories, Koepka agreed to participate in the Netflix series Full Swing. The American, who has always appeared to have an iron character, opened up. "I can't compete with those guys every week, Scottie (Scheffler) is capable of doing 63 every day," he cried helplessly to his partner, Jena Sims.

Although he has never confessed it, it was in those difficult moments when Koepka began to assess the offer of 100 million dollars that LIV Golf had made him and decided to accept it.

Now, almost a year after making his debut in the Saudi league, he has managed to end several debates at once with his victory. To begin with, those that revolved around his figure. Just a month ago, the man from Florida was unable to button up the green jacket in Augusta before Jon Rahm's roars. The doubts expressed in Full Swing returned to Koepka's head, who began to consider many things. “This has been my most heartfelt victory after everything I've been through. I have learned more from the four times I have finished second than from my five victories. Failing is the way to learn, to make yourself better ”, he repeated this week in New York.

But beyond confirming that he is once again a candidate for everything, Koepka is the new banner of LIV Golf to continue claiming rights, mainly, to receive world ranking points. “I am very proud of you and all the LIV players, who belong to the big tournaments, and golf knows it”, claimed Greg Norman, the visible face of the Saudi Super League, after the first Grand Slam victory of a player of the LIV. A vision from which, curiously, the protagonist distanced himself. "I'm sure my victory helps LIV, but right now I'm interested in what affects me, I'm not going to fool anyone," he concluded, hugging the Wanamaker trophy, aware that there is hardly a step from impotence to glory.