By The Capital Sports Report Staff
Brooks Koepka is the LeBron James of golf. Like LeBron, Koepka is talented. He is also brash and doesn’t have a filter. Most of all he is a polarizing character. So, is Koepka the character golf needs right now? The answer is yes. Koepka is the character golf needs, and his timing is perfect.
The sports world needs villains, and Koepka fits the bill. He is known to be a ruthless competitor. He doesn’t want to just win. He wants to dominate. Off the course he is all business, too.
He is, again, unfiltered. He’ll say what’s on his mind — every time, at all times. So it’s no wonder the Floridian is perceived as arrogant. He knows he is polarizing, and is okay with it.
Koepka admitted that much in an article on Golf Week. “I’m not going to be someone else just to be more popular,” Koepka quipped. “I’m not your typical golfer, definitely not a golf nerd. I have an athlete’s mentality, a true athlete, and if that rubs people the wrong way, tough.”
Koepka is unapologetic, and is clearly unafraid to ruffle feathers. “I’m just going to say what I feel, I’m going to be honest and I’m not going to hold back,” Koepka added. Indeed he hasn’t held back.
Among other things, Koepka has expressed disgust about his peers’ slow play. In May, he claimed that he was strongest physically and mentally on the circuit. He also pointed out that winning majors is far easier, “because 80 percent of the field has no chance at victory.”
The 29-year-old is certainly talking a good game. But he is also walking the walk. He has used slights — real and perceived — as motivation to become the world’s best golfer. Today, that’s exactly what he is. A feature on ESPN describes a disgruntled Koepka as “a destroyer of worlds.” He’s that good when he is angry, whether by slights or doubts.
This year Koepka has continued his rapid ascent to superstardom. He finished runner-up at both the Masters and the U.S. Open, and won the PGA Championship in May. Naturally the world number 1 was expected to win his fifth major in July’s British Open.
Koepka was the clear favorite to win the Open in bwin Golf’s preview article, but was felled by four early bogeys in the final round. He finished tied for 4th with Lee Westwood, 9 shots off eventual winner Shane Lowry. As expected Koepka wasn’t happy, even though his 4th place finish still put him in elite company.
Along with Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler, he is one of the only golfers to finish in the top five of all four Majors in the same year.
Fact is Koepka wouldn’t be such a big deal if he wasn’t winning. But he has been winning. He won his first title as a pro at the Challenge de Catalunya in 2012. Since then he has added 3 more Challenge Tour wins, 7 PGA Tour titles, and 4 of the past 12 Majors.
He is golf’s best. He knows it too, and will continue to tell everyone. This is why Brooks Koepka is great for golf. He is the character the sport needs, and he is embracing that role 100%.