Relaxed Koepka searches for second major
America’s Brooks Koepka heads into The Open in a relaxed frame of mind after taking a month off following his debut major victory at the US Open at Erin Hills.
While many of his rivals have been preparing for this week’s links test by playing at the Irish and Scottish Opens, Koepka has been recharging his batteries after claiming the biggest title of his career.
“I’m refreshed,” he said. “It didn’t have anything to do with the win. I’d planned to take some time off and regroup because I’d played a lot of golf. I thought it was important and that it was the right thing to do.”
Koepka had no qualms about acclimatising to British conditions because early in his career he had come to Europe to play on the Challenge Tour before graduating onto the European Tour and winning the 2014 Turkish Airlines Open.
“I think it was a maturity thing,” he said after being asked why he had taken a career path few Americans had taken before. “Coming over here was important for my career. I needed to get over here and develop my game.
“It was the plan all along to come over here, and obviously it worked out pretty well. I enjoyed it. I had the best time I've ever had being over here, playing the Challenge Tour, doing things like that. We had four guys packed in a taxi, trying to go from place to place, from the airport to the golf course, which is pretty fun.
“The camaraderie over here is pretty unique and special. I love that. I thought it was really cool.”
During his stint in Europe Koepka also found time to learn the vagaries of links golf and that is another reason why he believes he can win back-to-back majors.
“I love links golf,” “I think it's the best kind of golf you can play because there is so much imagination that goes into it. You can play ten different shots from the middle of the fairway and I think that's so cool. You've really got to be creative. It's not just a stock shot like it is in America. There, you just fly it pin-high and hope it stops. Over here you can run it up, you can fly it there, too, if you want. But you can be so creative, there's so many different shots.”
Having played Royal Birkdale several times in practice, one thing he doesn’t expect is to hit too many drivers.
“I'd say maybe four or five, four or five drivers. It's not too many, although it all depends on the wind direction.
“I think it's probably one of the best courses in The Open rotation,” he added. There are a lot of options off the tee. You can be aggressive, or you can lay back. There's always one side you can miss it on and be fine. I like it. I think it fits my game really well.”