Of all the success stories to have come out of the past 10 years, Brooks Koepka's could be the best. From turning pro in 2012 to established World No. 1 in 2019 he's experienced a meteoric rise to the top. And that's why he's at No. 4 in our Player of the Decade

At the beginning of the decade, Brooks Koepka was a name unknown to the professional golf world and little did we know that 10 years later, he would be arguably the Player of the Decade.

The beginning of a remarkable upward curve began at the 2012 US Open, where he qualified for his first major as an amateur through a sectional qualifier in Florida, ranked 1,459th in the world.

He was one of the hottest prospects on the college circuit at this point having won the ACC Golfer of the Year honours on two occasions.

The Olympic Club proved to be just too tough on that occasion as he missed the cut, but this held little significance as he turned professional in the summer of 2012 and began his European voyage.

A young, enthusiastic American climbed the ranks of the Challenge Tour phenomenally fast, winning four events in the space of 10 months. This earned him a full card on the European Tour and he took his next step towards stardom.

The significance of his 2014 season shouldn’t be overlooked and it could be argued that this was the first year that we really saw just how much potential he had.

His first European Tour win came at the Turkish Airlines Open that year, an event that regular attracts the biggest of names.

He also had top-three finishes at the Dubai Desert Classic and the European Masters and his consistently good performances saw him finish eighth in the Race to Dubai standings and claim the Rookie of the Year award.

Aside from his efforts in Europe things went pretty well in the USA too. He was in the field for his second US Open, this time playing at Pinehurst, and demonstrated that he had the game to compete in arguably the toughest major.

A tied-4th place finish was more than just his first top 10 in a major, it also sealed him a full card for the following PGA Tour season and propelled him into the world’s top 70 in the rankings.

This was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to him establishing himself as one of America’s best. He wasted no time in breaking his PGA Tour duck winning the Phoenix Open in February 2015 to move up to 19th in the world.

Fast forward to 2017 and we find ourselves talking about a rather understated Koepka who has just won his first major championship, unsurprisingly at the US Open.

Two years later he’s the man to beat in every major he tees it up in, particularly the US Open and the PGA Championship – each of which he has won twice.

But the Brooks Koepka heading out of this decade is very different to the Brooks Koepka that we knew not so long ago. Until recently he was the type of guy to go about his business fairly quietly, letting his clubs do the talking.

Now we know so much more about the man behind the golfer and he seems to have found his feet when it comes to actually sharing his views. Perhaps he feels that he’s reached the level that he can air his opinions and give his take or it could be that in his late 20s, maturity and confidence has come to the fore.

There is no question in our minds that the rivalry of the time is between Koepka and Rory McIlroy, but as we know he doesn’t see it that way. By the time the next decade is out, we predict he’ll look at that a little differently.

Was Koepka your Player of the Decade? Let us know in the comments below, or you can tweet us.

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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