Mates maketh the man
So Brooks Koepka is the unofficial King of the Majors for 2017. Not bad for a bloke who once admitted he’d rather pitch baseballs for a living than Pro V1x’s.
A designated hitter for golf’s new power generation, Koepka produced the low cumulative score in the year’s four bigs, a combined 21-under. Not surprisingly, he did much of his damage en-route to the U.S. Open title with a 16-under total at the biggest ball park in major championship history, Erin Hills.
For the record, Koepka is a huge Houston Astros fan. It’d have been a real home run (we promise to stop now) had he been a Yankees or Mets supporter given this month’s New Yorkthemed President’s Cup issue. But when you hit as hard as the 27-year-old -- consider for a New York minute (sorry, couldn’t resist) that he smokes a seven iron 215 yards -- who are we to deny him a little prime cover real estate? Do yourself a favour and turn to p46 for the secret to Koepka’s “savage” iron play.
After Sergio Garcia locked up the sentimental vote for major win of the year at Augusta, Koepka illuminated the way for golf’s bright new constellation of stars.
The image of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, which resurfaced when the former won the PGA Championship after the latter had captured the Claret Jug, is a classic.
Golf is a game best enjoyed with mates and here were a pair of mischievous-looking minors in major training. That their fiercely-friendly rivalry has continued to the very top echelon of the game is as contagious as it is noble.
Spieth led a chorus of big names in dismissing another Tiger-esque era of domination before he won The Open. But the way he corrected that Sunday tailspin at Royal Birkdale hints at true greatness.
It’s no coincidence that Spieth holds the record for low cumulative score in the majors, an epic 54 under total in 2015 when he won the Masters and U.S. Open and flirted with a calendar year slam. The race is now on with Rory McIlroy to be first to the career slam. It will be an intriguing sidebar to next year’s Masters and PGA even if the fairytale narrative many covet is the one where Rickie Fowler, the uncrowned king of golf’s new youth movement, is finally anointed a major champion like his best buddies.
While the rest of the world goes into relative hibernation until next April, there’s no time for major mourning here in the Middle East. Winter is coming and that means a scarily good schedule of European tournaments.
The Challenge Tour’s Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge from Oct. 25-28 gets us started but Golf Digest Middle East will be at Al Hamra G.C. earlier and would love you to join us. Thumb to p17 for details of our annual amateur series, the final of which is timed to coincide with our 100th issue celebrations.
We’ve working on some serious giveaways for next month’s special edition but the gift of great prizes and exceptional green fees at Abu Dhabi, Al Hamra and Emirates GC (Majlis) is already at hand. We look forward to seeing you and your pals at one or all venues and to making some new friends. If this year’s majors have taught us anything, it’s that mates maketh golf after all.