Brooks Koepka can go on to dominate world golf this season after winning the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in New York State. That’s according to the LIV Golf star’s Yorkshire coach, Pete Cowen, who insists that the American can now surge through and win the Open at Royal Liverpool in July.
Koepka, 33, has moved up to 13th in the world rankings after finishing nine-under par through 72 holes – two clear of Norwegian Viktor Hovland and world No 1 Scottie Scheffler.
The victory was his fifth Major triumph but first since winning the same event in 2019. Koepka has since undergone two knee surgeries and suffered a crisis of confidence before leaving the PGA tour to join the Saudi-back LIV Golf breakaway tour.
He returned to form at last month’s Masters and was favourite to win heading into the final day before ‘choking’ on the last round at Augusta National. But there was no such slip-up this time around as he calmly held off the challenge from Hovland and Scheffler to become the 20th man in history to win five Majors and the first one born after 1975.
Only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have won as many Majors since Sir Nick Faldo. He has also become only the third player ever to win three US PGA Championships in a six-year span, joining Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.
Coach Cowen, who gave Koepka a “b******ing” before his first Major success in the 2017 US Open, insists his man will now continue with his success. That may frustrate the PGA Tour who will not want a LIV Golf player dominating their tour given golf’s civil war between the two tours.
Cowen said: “Getting back to his fitness was the key. He couldn’t do it 18 months ago. He was in a bad way mentally and a bad way physically. He has shown such determination and strength of character and mind to get back. He will go on another streak.
“He has already started. Second and first in the last two Majors. The Open – I think he will take that. I think he will win the Open. He knows when to attack, when to defend. Him and [his caddie] Ricky [Elliott] will sort that one out quite nicely.”
His Northern Irish caddie Elliott added: “Now he is back fit, there is no doubt he can go on a streak again.” Koepka himself with similarly optimistic. He said: “I want to keep doing what I’m doing. It’s working so far. Back to having a chance pretty much every time I tee it up.”
A more sensitive side to the alpha male competitor was revealed in a Netflix documentary series called Full Swing. Speaking about his appearance on the programme, Koepka said: “That’s who I am. I’m open and honest. I know I seem like this big, bad, tough guy on the golf course that doesn’t smile, doesn’t do anything, but if you catch me off the golf course, I’ll let you know what’s going on. Now it feels damned good. Yeah, this one is definitely special!”
Kopeka’s caddie Elliott believes that he will thrive in Hoylake at this year’s Open adding: “He loves it over in the UK. He has got an Irish caddie, an English coach. He started his golf over there on the Challenge Tour and still says it was his funnest time. He likes the hot dogs, he likes the brown sauce, he likes the football. He supports Manchester United because of me!”
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