What does Brooks Koepka’s win at the US Open mean for golf?June 21, 2017 Team
The 177th edition of the US Open at Erin Hills continued to throw up surprises for the game of golf.
Brooks Koepka’s victory at the US Open made it seven straight first-time major winners and proved yet again that the only predictable thing about golf is its unpredictability.
The usual suspects were all among the pre-tournament favourites to win at Erin Hills but the world’s top three failed to make the weekend and it was left to the man from Florida to claim the spoils.
But should it really have been too much of a surprise as the course set-up made it the longest in US Open history and few hit a golf ball further than Koepka?
His round could be summed up on the 72nd hole when he crushed the ball 380 yards off the tee to reduce a monster hole to a couple of three woods.
Wider than usual fairways, combined with length and accuracy off the tee was the perfect recipe for success and Koepka barely put a foot wrong all week.
The critics will say that, yet again, it was all about power and a man whose physique more closely resembles a rugby player than golfer demolished the course, but it has to be remembered that the diminutive Brian Harman shared second place in Wisconsin.
The left-hander never threatened to reach a par five in two and relied on a stellar short game and touch on the putting surface, proving that there is always more than one way to negotiate even the longest of courses.
Koepka’s rise to major champion has not come easy as he learnt his trade on the European Tour’s second-tier Challenge Tour and even considered calling time on his career before moving up to the senior circuit.
The writing was on the wall that he was serious player with four Challenge Tour victories in nine months before he claimed the Turkish Airlines Open in November 2014 to open his account among the big boys.
Having cut his teeth in Europe, it was inevitable that he would move to the PGA Tour and success came early at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and if his US Open triumph tells us anything, it is that perseverance pays off.
Koepka has the game to win more majors but it is by no means certain that he will as nobody is dominating the game the way Tiger Woods did for a decade.
Perhaps surprisingly, Koepka is priced at 30/1 to win the upcoming Open championship. For those who find these odds appealing, Bookmaker Advisor has all the best tips and markets available for the Open and all other golfing majors.
That said, there is clearly an elite group of players as Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson have all enjoyed incredible periods of success, but none of them are showing the consistency that Woods did in his pomp. Recent history has also proved that all are vulnerable and beatable on any given day.
There is a sense that golf has now returned to the pre-Woods era when any number of players might raise their game for four days to win a major and the sport is surely all the better for it.
The size and shape of a player and how far he hits it off the tee does not really matter as long as there is competition at the top of the leaderboard and Koepka should be applauded for taking advantage of conditions that played to his strengths.
The USGA might not be so accommodating in future.