By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Brooks Koepka, a 23-year-old Floridian, has had plenty of success in Europe during his brief pro career. He’d like to bring his game back to his home country more often, though, and a good week at the Frys.com Open could help him do that. Koepka shot 67 on Thursday at CordeValle and is tied for fourth, three shots behind leader Jeff Overton.
Koepka, a former Florida State All-American, won three times on the Challenge Tour, Europe’s version of the Web.com Tour, in 2013 to earn his European Tour card for the remainder of 2013 and 2014. He also won once on the Challenge Tour in 2012. He’s playing the Frys.com Open on a sponsor exemption. Koepka’s next scheduled start is the European Tour’s BMW Masters on Oct. 24-27 in Shanghai, China. Koepka estimates China will be the 16th country he has played in in the United States.
He will pursue additional PGA TOUR starts after the BMW, including the final two events of 2013, the McGladrey Classic and OHL Classic at Mayakoba. A top-10 this week would earn him a start at next week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
“I’m going to play over here a little bit more, I hope,” Koepka said. “Right now, I need invites. I’d like to play over here and in Europe. That would be the ultimate goal.”
The Frys.com is Koepka’s first start in a non-major on the PGA TOUR. He missed the cut in last year’s U.S. Open and the 2013 Open Championship, and finished 70th in this year’s PGA Championship. He also played on the Web.com Tour in 2013, finishing T-40 at the WNB Golf Classic.
Chris Williams, who was the world's No. 1 amateur in 2012, and 2013 NCAA individual champion Max Homa both are T-19 after shooting 69. Both players, who turned pro earlier this year, are in the field on sponsor exemptions.