Brooks Koepka is living up to expectations

ONLY once can I recall having urged readers to “remember the name”. It was in my last-round report from the Scottish Hydro Challenge last June after Brooks Koepka had won at Macdonald Spey Valley to earn instant promotion to the European Tour on the back of his third victory of the season on the second-tier circuit. All that week in Aviemore, the talk among players, caddies and Tour staff had been about the American and you just sensed he was that little bit special. “This is only the beginning,” he told us after winning in the Highlands. “I know it sounds a bit cocky but I have expectations of myself.”

Brooks Koepka: Title winner. Picture: Getty
Brooks Koepka: Title winner. Picture: Getty

He took less than 24 hours to back up those words by winning an Open Championship qualifier at Sunningdale and now, after coming close on both the European Tour and PGA Tour over the past year, he’s made the big breakthrough by lifting the Turkish Airlines Open title.

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I’ll be amazed if Koepka doesn’t go on to become a Ryder Cup player, possibly as soon as the next match at Hazeltine in 2016, and it was fascinating to hear what he’s learned about the bond among players that has helped Europe dominate that event of late. “I feel like everyone is very, very close over here,” he said, having followed his close friend, Peter Uihlein, to Europe after turning professional. “I’m not saying they aren’t in the States, but I think over here they are a bit more involved in each other’s lives.”

There’s something for that 11-man task force to get their teeth into.

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