Memorable day for the Koepka brothers

Brooks Koepka carded an eagle and seven birdies to take a one-shot lead. Picture: AP
Brooks Koepka carded an eagle and seven birdies to take a one-shot lead. Picture: AP
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Not since the Molinaris helped Europe to victory in the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales have two golfing brothers enjoyed a better day than Brooks and Chase Koepka just experienced.

It’s rare, after all, that the same name is at the top of the leaderboards simultaneously on the European Tour and Challenge Tour.

As US Open champion Brooks got off to a great start in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, younger brother Chase was also going low in the Ras Al Khaimah Challenge in the UAE.

“What a great morning,” wrote the duo’s father, Bob, on Twitter using #ProudDad as his hashtag, after keeping track of both events back home in the US.

Brooks, of course, has never looked back since securing 
a European Tour card with
victory in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Macdonald Spey Valley in Aviemore in 2013.

The 27-year-old carded an eagle and seven birdies in an eight-under-par 64 at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai to take a one-shot lead over Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Gavin Green from Malaysia.

Koepka’s compatriot, Patrick Reed, and South African Haydn Porteous were both a shot further back, while a group on 67 included Olympic champion Justin Rose and recent British Masters winner Paul Dunne.

Richie Ramsay, the sole Scot in the field for an event won by his compatriot, Russell Knox, two years ago, signed for two birdies – both 2s – in his 73.

Chase, meanwhile, carded a second-round 68 at Al Hamra and led outright on 10 under before he was joined by Dutchman Jurrian Van Der Vaart in the penultimate event on this season’s Challenge Tour.

That being the case, Bradley Neil suffered an untimely missed cut in his bid to hang on to a top-15 spot in the Road to Oman, a second-round 71 not being quite enough to repair the damage caused by an opening 75.

Grant Forrest (69) and David Law (73) both made it through but trail the leaders by eight shots on two under. Ross Kellett agonisingly missed out by a shot on one over.