Seven years in the past after failing to qualify for the PGA Tour, Brooks Koepka travelled from Florida to Europe to embark on a recent begin on the European Challenge Tour.
It was on this new path that the younger American would safe 4 skilled wins before graduating to the European Tour on the tender age of 22. Different challenges offered themselves in every metropolis however slowly his confidence, expertise and total game intelligence was starting to maneuver in the correct course.
At the time, Koepka was the uncommon younger American to play overseas, however now he has now change into the poster boy for rising stars starting their careers in Europe very like stalwarts Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy before them.
Although he has not competed a lot in Europe Tour occasions in latest years, the Jupiter resident has gone on to cement his standing because the main gentle within the current crop of younger skills excelling within the game with three main wins.
And forward of his first return to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship since missing the reduce in 2014, Koepka is worked up to see acquainted faces and play alongside previous mates he soldiered with in earlier years.
“The camaraderie over here’s a bit totally different. I prefer it extra, personally, than I do within the States. It appears there’s 30 or 40 guys on a flight, mainly the entire flight is all people, players, caddies,” the current world No2 stated forward of Wednesday’s tee-off.
“Everyone hangs out in two or three lodges, you go to dinner, you might have a tough time over right here operating into one player as a result of there’s 30 or 40 of them or caddies or coaches all on the identical restaurant and I feel that’s sort of enjoyable.
“The perspective over here’s a little totally different. The sense of humour over here’s a little higher so it’s fairly enjoyable.”
Koepka has all the time thrived on the sensation of being slighted and the sense of not receiving the credit score he deserves contemplating his huge achievements during the last couple of years.
Two of his three main wins got here in 2018, and on the US Open in June, the 28-year-old grew to become the first player in 29 years to efficiently defend that title.
At the PGA Championship 5 weeks later, he shot two scintillating 66s to set a PGA scoring document on his technique to heading off Tiger Woods by two photographs. He additionally recorded 4 different prime 10s and missed just two cuts in 15 begins. All of this whereas having sat out three months of the season on account of a career-threatening wrist harm.
For all his successes within the game, it hasn’t been sufficient to seize the eye of the American public who appear to dislike the truth that he stays low key and exhibits little emotion.
But the resilience he confirmed in 2018 ought to actually make his rise much less underappreciated and catapult his stature to new heights.
“I feel folks sort of blew it out of proportion and made this complete factor of me against the media; me saying I don’t get sufficient consideration. I feel it just blew up a little bit bit greater than most likely what I supposed for it to do,” he stated.
“I feel my solely factor that I used to be just saying was, if it had been a pair different folks, I feel it could have been a bit totally different. Jordan (Spieth) did the identical factor, and clearly with Tiger coming again, it’s a little bit totally different. And just having a number of different folks, if they might have accomplished it, I felt like it could have been a little bit bit totally different.
“I used to be mad for, all of 5 minutes most likely once I stated that, and it just took on a lifetime of its personal. I’m not upset. I’m nonetheless attempting to do my private goals. I can inform there’s a distinction; I’ll put it that manner.”
In October, Koepka began the brand new 2018-19 season with a fifth profession victory on the CJ Cup in South Korea, ending the year as world primary by the smallest of margins over Justin Rose.
But his time on the summit solely lasted six weeks. Two weeks in the past in Hawaii, he wanted to complete in a tie for eighth on the Sentry Tournament of the Champions however rounds of 76-70-73-69 left him in a end for 24th place. It was nonetheless a commendable display for therefore early within the year, however now Keopka is concentrating on a return to the highest of the world rankings within the UAE capital this weekend.
It’s little doubt going to be an extended year however he would like to get again to the summit in model in addition to to persevering with to realize different goals he has set for the year forward each on and off the golf course.
“Obviously this year, No1 was fairly clear and to remain wholesome. I feel that was a fairly obvious one,” he defined.
“But I wrote a bunch of various goals down. I feel I did about half of them final year. I’m just attempting to enhance on that and ensure I can knock a number of extra off that checklist.
“I’ve obtained to sort of separate (my goals). I set goals on the highway after which the golf goals, after which goals at home. I separate all of them into totally different classes and go from there.”