At the US Open, Brooks Koepka is in his happy place and in battle

Brooklyn, Mass. – When Brooks Koepka was crossing the first threshold on a humid Friday morning, one of the fans shouted that he liked golf clothes.

“It’s a good day to dress in white, Brooke. “It’s hot here,” the fan shouted. “Be cool little, but do not be afraid of overheating.”

Koepka, who wore a white shirt, blue pants and a light green hat in the second round of the US Open, heeded fan advice, lifting from the 73rd round and scoring three times as low as the 67th.

This put him on an equal footing after two rounds and in a familiar position – at an amazing distance leading the country club over the weekend. Koepka finished his last seven U.S. Open championships and finished worse than 18th.

Koepka, who won the U.S. Open in 2016 under 16 points and won again in 2018, speaks almost paternally of the open. His schedule has been leaning towards the majoritarians this season – these are the only events he has played since the end of March – and he seems to be successfully meeting the challenges posed by this particular tournament.

“I love this event,” he said. “This event has always been good for me.”

Otherwise arguing is difficult. Koepka is the most successful player at the US Open in the last decade.

No one else on the 156-man pitch has won the U.S. Open. The last four times he has played in a tournament – he missed the Open 2020 due to knee and hip injuries – he has two wins, in 2017 and 2018, finishing second in 2019 and finishing fourth in 2021. Koepka generated more than $ 6 million. In those four events, only four players – Gary Woodland, John Ram, Louis Ostwizen and Harry English – finished ahead of Koepka.

“It’s pretty cool,” Koepka said, adding, “You’d be less.”

He is one of only seven players to have won the US Opens in a row; The last one to do this before Koepka was Kurt Strange in 1988 and 1989.

But, given that he did not have a tournament this year, it was hard to predict how well the 32-year-old, four-time champion would play – he had a side victory in the 2018 and 2019 PGA Championships. He missed the cut on the Masters. And she attributed her extraordinary performance at the PGA Championship in May – Game 55 – to focusing more on her next wedding.

“I was looking forward to that party,” he said at a week-long holiday in Turks and Caicos in early June.

Koepka then returned to his home in Jupiter, Florida, worked for four days with his caddy, Ricky Elliott, and denied any talk of oxygen when he arrived at the country club.

“I had a lot of other things happening,” he said. “Sometimes, look, golf is great and everything and I love it, but at the same time, I have other things to do that I like to do. The wedding was a big deal. “Now everything is over and I can go and play golf.”

He irritated reporters at a news conference ahead of the tournament on Tuesday, scolding them for asking him and other golfers questions about the LIV Golf International series, a Saudi-sponsored rebel golf tour that attracted stars such as Sister Phil Mickelson and The tour will host the second event, one of five in the United States, near Portland, on Monday, starting June 30th.

Koepka’s stellar strength and propensity for breaks make him an ideal target for the starting tour, which he has so far announced as eight, 54-hole events with rifle starts, no cuts, and huge bags for even last-place finishers. (Players who have resigned from the PGA Tour, or suspended from the tour because they joined the LIV Golf Series, can still play in four major tournaments not hosted by the PGA Tour, although this may change.)

Koepka, who is ranked 19th in the world, can also get a solid signing bonus. It is known that Mikelson received $ 200 million and Johnson $ 150 million to join LIV Golf, which is funded by the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund. Koepka’s brother, Chase, plays on tour.

“I’m here. I’m here at the US Open,” Brooke Koepka said when asked about LIV Golf. “You’re all throwing this black cloud at the US Open.

Koepka got off to an awkward start in his favorite tournament. His first round of 73 left him for more than three and 79th when his day started on Friday. This coincides with the second worst round he has struck in the last seven U.S. Open championships. Twice, he opened with 75. In one such case, the 2018 Shinekok Hills, he won the tournament.

While playing in the country club, Koepka had three birds and six bogs, including three straight on the back, nine. A similar game in the second round would have left Koepka packing at home. But he would have none.

The long bird, arranged in a difficult third hole, had one equal to nine holes in one day. It could have been better. He missed the bird-making shots at the first, seventh, and eighth holes. After the 10th bogeyman, he responded with birds in the next two holes, and with an eagle in the 14th. He missed a short shot at No. 15 but went through the last three holes.

Koepka was worried about what he called his bad iron game. “This is usually the strongest part of my game,” he said. Promised a quick fix. He held the ball perfectly and informed the rest of the pitch that he was going to be around this weekend and be in battle.

“I am not coming here hoping for a second place,” he said. “I think if you’re a good player, you want to come in here and win. That ‘s why everyone is dragging their feet.

He continued: “No one intends to just cut or anything like that. I mean, I’m pretty confident, but I feel like everyone needs to be confident in themselves and if not – people hate trust. That’s why people are not my big fans. “

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