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Sport Jeff Jacobs: Brooks Koepka takes his place among dominant American golfers

09:15  18 june  2018
09:15  18 june  2018 Source:   ctpost.com

Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka one off the lead at the FedEx St. Jude Classic

  Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka one off the lead at the FedEx St. Jude Classic Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka are among a large group of players one back of Seamus Power at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Brooks Koepka, the reigning U.S. Open champion, and Phil Mickelson, who looks to complete the career grand slam at Shinnecock Hills, each carded four-under 66s at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn., putting them one back of leader Seamus Power.Mickelson, who has twice finished runner-up in this event, entered the week in good form, having played his last three rounds in 12-under at the Memorial Tournament to finished in a tie for 13th.

Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka are among a large group of players one back of Seamus Power at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Brooks Koepka , the reigning U.S. Open champion, and Phil Mickelson, who looks to complete the career grand slam at Shinnecock Hills, each carded four-under 66s at TPC

2. Brooks Koepka : I don't really have a great reason for putting Koepka here other than I simply think Thomas Koepka has more majors on him, sure, but he hasn't been in Thomas' league when it comes to I will not be swayed by the Schauffele Express even after his historic Sunday performance at

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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Maybe now he gets his due. Maybe now Brooks Koepka gets the big hype that had been reserved for Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson.

Maybe now we look beyond those popping biceps. His great uncle Dick Groat was a five-time All-Star and National League MVP for the Pirates and before that an All-American basketball player at Duke. For too long, dolts have wondered aloud if golfers were really athletes. Yet the opposite seemed true with Koepka. Maybe now we can stop looking at him as The Jock and start looking at him as a dominant American golfer.

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Jeff Jacobs : Brooks Koepka Takes His Place among Dominant American Golfers By Jacobs , Jeff New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), June 18, 2018.

Patrick Reed may be Captain America , but Brooks Koepka , committed to play at the Travelers Championship this week in Cromwell, is field general of our national championship. Koepka also fought through nasty wrist problems over the past year, nasty enough to shake his fiber.

Koepka has a jaw square enough, shoulders broad enough, a wrist healed enough to carry all of it. On a warm Sunday on Long Island, the 28-year-old did something Jack Nicklaus did not. At the 118th U.S. Open, yes, he did something Tiger Woods has not.

He won the U.S. Open in successive years. He is back-to-back champ. Patrick Reed may be Captain America, but Brooks Koepka, committed to play at the Travelers Championship this week in Cromwell, is field general of our national championship.

Then again, lots of folks probably walked away from the television Sunday disappointed adorable Tommy Fleetwood fell one shot short of Koepka.

a group of people wearing military uniforms: Brooks Koepka walks off the course with the U.S. Open Championship trophy after winning the event on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Brooks Koepka walks off the course with the U.S. Open Championship trophy after winning the event on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.

“I mean, I always feel like I’m overlooked,” Koepka said. “I couldn’t care less. It doesn’t bug me.”

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Jeff Jacobs : Brooks Koepka Takes His Place among Dominant American Golfers By Jacobs , Jeff New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), June 18, 2018.

Brooks Koepka golfing for Florida State in 2010.CreditCreditFlorida State Athletics. Jones said Koepka thanked him for molding him into a golfer capable of winning the United States Open, which Koepka had done At Florida State, Koepka was a three-time all- American with a five-alarm temper.

Only Curtis Strange (1988-89) and Ben Hogan (1950-51) won back-to-back U.S. Open titles since the end of World War II. Their games, disciplined, precise, were honed for this event. Koepka, who might be able to clear Long Island Sound with his best drive, tied the U.S. Open scoring record last year with a 16-under 272 at Erin Hills.

We can still hear the cries. The fairways were too wide! The rough wasn’t rough enough! Played more like the PGA Championship than the U.S. Open!

Well, the U.S. Open returned to Shinnecock Hills in 2018 and the course presented its set of chills, thrills and screams that the USGA had lost the course. Friday was easier than Thursday and Sunday was easier than Saturday, yet mixed in there were the winds, dried greens and shaky pin placements that left Koepka beating the field with a 1-over-par score of 281. His two titles were nearly exact opposites.

Sure, he looks like he could bench-press the Shinnecock Hills clubhouse. And paired with Johnson, we were reminded that Dustin is both friend and mentor. They share the same swing coach in Claude Harmon. They work out together with trainer Joey Diovisalvi in Florida. They are, in the parlance, bros.

U.S. Open 2018: Brooks Koepka goes from cut line to contention with Friday run at Shinnecock

  U.S. Open 2018: Brooks Koepka goes from cut line to contention with Friday run at Shinnecock U.S. Open 2018: Brooks Koepka goes from cut line to contention with Friday run at Shinnecock HillsThrough 25 holes, Brooks Koepka seemed to be on the wrong end of that stick. The 28-year-old posted an opening-round 75, and his play through seven holes didn't inspire much belief in a turnaround. The Open, it appeared, would go to its third decade without a repeat winner.

And then big, bad Brooks Koepka came through. Koepka ’s four-stroke triumph at Erin Hills, a vast new canvas in the Wisconsin countryside, was only his second PGA Tour These young, telegenic Americans were all seeking their first major championship victory—Fowler had been one stroke off

Brooks Koepka said he had stem cell treatment on his left patella after the PGA Tour season ended. He returns to competition at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Tiger Woods said he told Brooks Koepka to " take his time" on deciding whether he's fit enough to play in the Presidents Cup.

a man flying a kite in front of a sunset: Brooks Koepka celebrates with the campionship trophy after winning the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday.© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Brooks Koepka celebrates with the campionship trophy after winning the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills on Sunday.

“We didn’t really speak too much today,” Koepka said. “He was busy grinding his tail off and I was busy grinding mine. We’re extremely close. I love the guy to death.”

There was a calmness to Koepka’s golf on this Father’s Day that would not be shaken. He made big putts to save par on the back nine that screamed maturity. You see a guy with such a powerful swing, a game with such promise, you can forget he traversed foreign continents, scrapping to make a living in golf. This all speaks to resilience. Yes, he slept in his car during an event in Kazakhstan, his caddie has told reporters. And if that doesn’t beg for a Borat joke nothing does.

Koepka also fought through nasty wrist problems over the past year, nasty enough to shake his fiber. He had a partially torn tendon in his left wrist and admitted in May there were two wrist dislocations.

“You go from playing some of the best golf I’ve probably ever played to probably being at the lowest point professionally that I’ve been,” Koepka said a few days ago.

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He said the lowest point was looking in the mirror at one point and seeing he had gained 15 pounds. He had played in only seven events in 2018 before Shinnecock. It wasn’t until last weekend the Koepka, who played at TPC River Highlands in 2014 and 2016, committed to Travelers.

a man wearing a hat: Brooks Koepka speaks to the media after winning the 2018 U.S. Open on Sunday.© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Brooks Koepka speaks to the media after winning the 2018 U.S. Open on Sunday.

“Brooks just wasn’t sure,” Travelers tournament director Nathan Grube said the other day. “He had said to us he likes the golf course, but with his injury I don’t think he knew his schedule. He wasn’t committing to anything. He was like, ‘I’m looking at The Players, I’m looking at the U.S. Open.’ He was extremely cautious.

“We were just staying in the conversation. I didn’t know what was going to happen. We said obviously we’d love to have you. He said if I commit, I’m going to play. If I go back-to-back at the Open, I know what I’m doing. We said, ‘Go back-to-back at the Open.’”

And so he did. Sunday night, Grube said all signs remain for Koepke to keep his commitment.

Koepka talked a lot about being patient and not unraveling after a bad hole. He talked about the beauty of just hanging around at the U.S. Open. He didn’t sound like a young jock. He sounded like a seasoned champion. On Thursday, he teed off in a group with Bubba Watson. By Sunday there was Bubba, who missed the cut, posing with Tim Tebow at a Yard Goats game in Hartford, while Koepka was lifting a great trophy.

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“The U.S. Open takes so much discipline,” Koepka said. “You have got to be a great putter and kind of let things roll off your back. I enjoy being pushed to the limit. Sometimes you feel like you are about to break mentally, but that’s what I enjoy. I enjoy playing the toughest in golf you are ever going to play.”

Fleetwood looks more like Jesus of Nazareth than Jack of Columbus or Arnie of Latrobe. The Englishman has long, flowing hair, a full beard and on this day a putter on fire. He sank eight birdies, including four in a row on the back nine. As he stood over an 8-foot putt on the 18th, following a terrific 6-iron shot, Fleetwood stood to break the Open record of 63.

“I wanted 62,” Fleetwood said.

He missed. What resulted was a collective groan from the gallery that could have been heard in Brooklyn and a standing ovation.

“But (that putt) became a thing at the tournament,” Fleetwood said.

The 63 matched Johnny Miller for the greatest final Open round. His score was 15 strokes better than Saturday. Still, the miss on 18 would haunt him. He finished two hours before the leaders and as others wilted, that one stroke kept him from a playoff.

So here was Brooks Koepka, only the fifth golfer since 1930 under the age of 30 to win the U.S Open twice. As Thomas and Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, Paul Casey and Reed pour into Connecticut for a terrific tournament of golf, they will, we will have to look up and say, “Hey, there’s the back-to-back national champion.”

“It sounds incredible,” Koepka said.

Related slideshow: US Open (provided by photo services)

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Brooks Koepka is still on a high after his U.S. Open win as he gets set to rest up for Carnoustie .
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