Never one for mincing his words, defending PGA Champion Brooks Koepka believes he should go out and win this week at TPC Harding Park.
Chasing an unprecedented three-peat for the first time since Peter Thomson won the Open Championship for three straight years from 1954-56, Koepka has doubled down on his comments from last year when he stated that he can eliminate the majority of the field before a ball is even hit at any given Major.
“I still feel that way,” Keopka said as he looks to be coming into form at just the right time for his hat-trick tilt in San Francisco.
“The way the golf course sets up eliminates pretty much half the guys, and then from there, you know, half of those guys probably won’t play well. Then from there, I feel like mentally I can beat them, the other half, so you’ve probably got ten guys. That’s the way I see it. If I can do what I’m supposed to, then yeah, I should [win].”
Does that mean Koepka sees himself as the best player in the field this week, despite Justin Thomas now sitting atop the world rankings?
“I mean, I feel very confident in myself,” he says. “I don’t know — I think when you start saying it like that, I think you’re putting expectations. I don’t put any expectations on myself. Just go out and go play golf exactly like I know how, and if I do that, then yeah, I probably should win.”
Koepka credits his ability to see golf in its simplest form for his now four-strong Major tally and the current world number six revealed how he manages his mental load ahead of the four biggest weeks in any “normal” golfing year – though it doesn’t weigh on his head as heavy as you might think.
“I think why I’ve played so well is I break things down very easily,” he added. “I think for some reason, people make golf a lot more complicated than it should be. Worried about where shots go, results, you know, putting more emphasis on this week or the major weeks, when to me, it almost seems the most relaxing week of the year.
“I feel like Monday to Wednesday, conserving energy mentally, I’ve got a good routine, nine holes pretty much every day or less, and I leave the golf course feeling pretty refreshed, and then by Sunday, I’m mentally drained.
“I think it’s more mentally exhausting where things — where things will take it out of you mentally before physically with a major. I think that’s one of the strengths of my game.”
The history chaser tees off next to our own Shane Lowry and US Open Champ Gary Woodland on day one at 8.11am (local US time) or 4.11pm Irish from the 10th tee on the TPC Harding Park located less than 10 miles south of the famed Golden Gate Bridge.