Koepka sets goal to win 10 majors
Enters PGA Championship as the defending champion and owner of three major titles
May 14, 2019
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Brooks Koepka on winning majors the PGA Championship
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Brooks Koepka has his sights set high. Very high.
The reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year and defending champion at this week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black believes he can win at least 10 majors in his career.
In the 150-plus-year history of golf major championships, only three men have achieved that feat.
Legends like Ben Hogan (9), Gary Player (9), Tom Watson (8), Bobby Jones (7), Sam Snead (7), Gene Sarazen (7) and Arnold Palmer (7) are not in that bracket.
Only Jack Nicklaus (18), Tiger Woods (15) and Walter Hagen (11) can lay claim to it.
But the 29-year-old has won three of the last seven majors he has played in and was runner-up to Woods at last month’s Masters.
One of those wins was also on Long Island at last year’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, another at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club last August.
“I don't see why you can’t get to double digits,” Koepka said as he gears up for his title defense early given the PGA Championship’s move to May.
“I think you keep doing what you’re supposed to do, you play good, you peak at the right times … I think sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win.
“Half the people shoot themselves out of it, and mentally I know I can beat most of them, and then from there it’s those guys left, who’s going to play good and who can win.
“I don’t see any reason it can’t get to double digits.”
The easiest to win? There would be countless people tell you otherwise.
But the confidence just drips off him.
Double digits? Come on man. That’s heading into a new stratosphere of legend status.
But Koepka has it rationalized in his own head.
“(There are) 156 in the field, so you figure at least 80 of them I’m just going to beat. From there you figure about half of them won’t play well, so you’re down to about maybe 35,” he explained.
“And then from 35, some of them … pressure is going to get to them. It only leaves you with a few more, and you’ve just got to beat those guys.
“I think one of the big things that I’ve learned over the last few years is you don’t need to win it, you don’t have to try to go win it. Just hang around. If you hang around, good things are going to happen.
Koepka last played Bethpage Black in a competitive setting in 2016 at THE NORTHERN TRUST as part of the FedExCup Playoffs. He finished in a tie for 70th.
Since then he’s won four of his five PGA TOUR titles, including the three majors, in a colossal evolution.
Last week he was fourth at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
“I feel good. I like the way I was striking the ball. I felt like I was controlling the ball nicely, flighting it nicely, controlling the spin. I was really pleased with that,” Koepka said.
“Every time I've won, I've played the week before. We've looked at stats, we've looked at everything, and trying to figure out how I can better myself when it comes to a major. And I think playing that week before, building a rhythm, just getting a little bit more touch, a little bit more feel, and then working on whatever I need to work on works for me … it’s pretty simple.”
Lately Koepka has made winning majors look simple. He has no fear. He held off Woods at Bellerive and was a missed putt on 18 away from a playoff with Woods at Augusta amongst all the roars.
“He’s not going to knock my teeth in. He’s not going to hurt me. So what’s there to be afraid of?” he said when asked of Woods’ recent resurgence.
If Koepka makes it four for his last eight this week he will be the first to have that sort of major dominance since Woods won four of eight over the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
The double-digit goal will certainly look closer at that rate.