How Brooks Koepka morphed into best golfer in world


PGA Tour player with the Popeye biceps bursting from his golf shirts, the intimidating, stoic Terminator expression piercing from under the brim of his cap and the guy who's going to win the PGA Championship Sunday at Bethpage Black, who is Brooks Koepka ?

He's a late bloomer who bravely took a different – if not unorthodox – path to PGA Tour success and stardom, opting to go to the top of Europe in his game before he made the scene in America, while his peers – Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed and Justin Thomas – went straight to the PGA Tour.

Kepepa was in the process of becoming ailing in places like Kazakhstan, Kenya and the Czech Republic.

PGA Tour stop in America, where Koepka says he grew up, both as a player and a person.

Koepka, a native of Florida, is a Florida State alum, has a bother, Chase, who plays on the European Tour and is a fantastic athlete who could have excelled in another sport – perhaps baseball – had he put his mind to it. Koepka's great uncle is MLB shortstop Dick Groat.

There are two top attributes to Koepka, if we're not counting his 350-yard drives and the three major championships he's already won entering Sunday's final round at Bethpage, where he takes a seven-shot lead to the first tee after shooting Saturday.

The first is how unafraid he is. Koepka does not give a damn what you or anyone else thinks about, and there's something positively refreshing about that.

The second is how wonderfully unaffected he is with his golf game, never enough psychological clutter to enter his world. Koepka has an efficient purpose to everything he does. To borrow an oft-used phrase from the Brits, he simply "gets on with it."

It's difficult to argue with the results, which makes you wonder why more players do not try to mimic his way.

Another thing that has become a lot of things. Koepka attribute is how he's morphed from a quiet, blend-in-with-the-crowd, anonymous soul on the PGA Tour to one of its most outspoken players.

Koepka has been taken on the tour, calling it "embarrassing." He called out Sergio Garcia after the Spaniard, and he had some greens at a tournament in Saudi Arabia, saying he was acting "like a child." '

A show of how respected Koepka, because of its status in the game as a winner, has become the fact Garcia sheepishly responded to the story by conceding they were spot on.

Earlier this week, when asked if he had a number of major championships in his mind, Koepka matter-of-factly responded: "I do not see why you can not get to double digits. "

Koepka also has not been shy about calling out his critics, who does not care for him or her.

Entering this week's PGA, Brandel Chamblee's golf channel analyst said on a podcast that Koepka should not be mentioned in the Tiger Woods, McIlroy and some other top players, Koepka posted a picture of Chamblee on his Twitter account with a bulbous , red clown's nose superimposed on his face.

After Koepka scorched Bethpage Black with his opening-round 63 Thursday, Chamblee playfully posted this tweet: "I've been flipped off a few times in my life – probably not as often as you would think – but I felt like he was giving me the finger for 4 ½ hours today. ''

Koepka is the most dominant player in the world at the moment. If hoists the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday evening, as everyone expects he will, Koepka will have won four of the past eight major championships he's played.

"I want to be the best player in the world," he said in a 2015 interview when he first got to the PGA Tour. "I'm not there yet, and I know it's going to take time. But I want to get to that point. "

If that point, by Sunday night it will have been driven home like a nail through balsa wood.

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