Brooks Koepka lit the golf world on fire back in June, when he shot five-under 67 on Sunday at Erin Hills to lock up a four-stroke U.S. Open victory. It was the highlight – the first of many, to be sure – of a career that took anything but the predictable path to the top.
Koepka’s 2017 is also a story in two acts. He opened calendar 2017 missing four of his first six cuts, finishing 42nd at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and 48th at the WGC-Mexico Championship. A strong run at the WGC-Dell Match Play saw Koepka eliminated in the round of 16, and since then, he’s been contending much more frequently, including a T-11 finish at the Masters, and a runner-up finish at the Valero Texas Open.
As Koepka has only been a full-time PGA TOUR player since 2014, this will be his Quail Hollow debut. With no history to build on, he comes in with a clean slate, but there are plenty of positives to look at. Growing up in Florida, he should thrive on the new Bermuda greens that were installed this year. There isn’t a hole too long for Koepka when his driver is strong, and even though he can get a little wild off the tee, he still ranks 21st on TOUR in adjusted scoring.
The only thing better than winning your first major? Winning your second. Koepka can take an already memorable 2017 season and make it one for the record books in Charlotte.