Brooks Koepka heads off some great ta­lent for 2018 Player of the year.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS - WORDS CHRIS COX PGA TOUR

The ca­sual golf fan may not have known much about Brooks Koepka when he first hoisted the U.S. Open Cham­pi­onship tro­phy in 2017.

He had only one PGA TOUR win to his name at the time—the 2015 Waste Man­age­ment Phoenix Open— and was part of Amer­ica’s win­ning Ry­der Cup team. Be­yond that, he was a rel­a­tive un­known be­fore be­com­ing a ma­jor win­ner.

All that’s changed now. Since that break­through vic­tory, Koepka has added two more ma­jors to his tro­phy case, first in a re­peat per­for­mance in June at the U.S. Open, and again in Au­gust at the PGA Cham­pi­onship. The ti­tles helped him earn the 2018 PGA TOUR Player of the Year award, as voted on by the TOUR’s mem­ber­ship for the 201718 sea­son.

“On be­half of the PGA TOUR, our con­grat­u­la­tions to Brooks Koepka on be­ing voted PGA TOUR Player of the Year by his peers,” said PGA TOUR Com­mis­sioner Jay Mon­a­han. “Brooks has brought a new brand of ath­leti­cism to the PGA TOUR, and we saw the re­sults this year with his his­toric sea­son at the ma­jor cham­pi­onships and a top-10 fin­ish in the FedExCup. These feats were ac­com­plished de­spite miss­ing sig­nif­i­cant time due to in­jury, a tes­ta­ment to his work ethic and per­se­ver­ance through­out the sea­son.”

Koepka, a 28-year-old na­tive of West Palm Beach, Florida, fin­ished a ca­reer-best ninth in the FedExCup Standings. In ad­di­tion to his two vic­to­ries, he earned more ad­di­tional top-10 fin­ishes, in­clud­ing run­ners-up at the World Golf Cham­pi­onship­sHSBC Cham­pi­ons and Charles Sch­wab Chal­lenge.

He did so de­spite miss­ing 10 weeks be­cause of an in­jured left wrist. He made his re­turn in late April at the Zurich Clas­sic of New Or­leans, and col­lected his first top10 post-in­jury at the Charles Sch­wab Chal­lenge at Colo­nial Coun­try Club, a sec­ond-place fin­ish to Justin Rose.

With his vic­tory at the U.S. Open at Shin­necock Hills, Koepka be­came the first player since Cur­tis Strange (1988-89) to win back-to-back U.S. Open ti­tles. Five starts later, Koepka won his third ma­jor ti­tle in his 100th PGA TOUR start, cap­tur­ing the PGA Cham­pi­onship by two strokes over Tiger Woods with a tour­na­ment record 16-un­der 264. At age 28, Koepka be­came the fifth Amer­i­can since 1945 with three or more ma­jor wins be­fore the age of 29 and the fifth player to win the U.S. Open and PGA Cham­pi­onship in the same sea­son.

Koepka posted sea­son-low rounds of 63 on four oc­ca­sions in 17 PGA TOUR starts, in­clud­ing the low­est fi­nal round ever at THE PLAY­ERS Cham­pi­onship. He closed the sea­son with 13 of 16 rounds in the 60s over the four FedExCup Play­offs events.

Koepka, who re­ceived the Jack Nick­laus Tro­phy for win­ning PGA TOUR Player of the Year, was se­lected for the hon­our over Bryson DeCham­beau, Dustin John­son, Francesco Moli­nari, Justin Rose and Justin Thomas.

PGA TOUR mem­bers who played in at least 15 FedExCup events dur­ing the 2017-18 sea­son were el­i­gi­ble to vote. The bal­lot­ing process ended on Oc­to­ber 1.

Brooks Koepka poses with the Wana­maker tro­phy, Player of the Year tro­phy and the US Open tro­phies dur­ing the Player of the Year cer­e­mony at The Bear's Club on Oc­to­ber 9, 2018 in Jupiter, Florida.

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