Brooks Koepka may have won four majors but you wouldn’t believe it if you were to hear him speak about himself or others. The Floridian is often directing jibes at his fellow players and, given his general tone, you’re left wondering why the 30-year-old has developed such a chip on his shoulder.
Indeed, his slumped shoulders and sharp tongue do make him look like a man who is harbouring quite a bit of resentment. The fact that he will now miss the US Open through injury will do nothing to improve his mood and neither will the fact that a man he has recently made enemies with is now the favourite to win it. Indeed, the betting odds on golf US Open show Dustin Johnson at 15/2 to triumph at Winged Foot Golf Club.
It seems like the 2018 US Open Champion will have another grievance to all to his collection quite soon, but why does the burly West Palm Beach native act the way he does?
Koepka will probably tell you it’s because he feels like he isn’t taken seriously or regarded as one of the world’s best players despite dominating most of the recent major tournaments.
There may have been an element of truth in that at the beginning of his hot streak in the majors but you feel as if that narrative has been perpetuated by Koepka himself. If he had perhaps adopted more of a magnanimous attitude to those that may have, admittedly quite foolishly, suggested he was an imposter at the start of his career, he may have won over the media a lot sooner.
Instead, the 30-year-old has chosen to keep a book of names. As earlier mentioned, Dustin Johnson was the latest to get caught in the firing line as Koepka took a dig at the fact that Johnson had only won one major. This all came about when the media asked Koepka about his chances on the final day of the PGA Championship and what he thought would make him the favourite.
In the end, both Koepka and Johnson would lose out to Collin Morikawa as the 23-year-old won the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, but to give Johnson his due, he hasn’t bothered to respond to Koepka’s taunt.
The 36-year-old has instead let his clubs do the talking and has managed to win a staggering $18 million over the course of a month since Koepka called him out.
The lion’s share of that came from the bonus of winning the FedEx Cup and receiving $15 million in prize money. It’s impossible to say for sure whether Koepka’s mockery of Johnson’s major tally spurred the South Carolinian on, but the timing and haul of trophies does make you think.
With all of this mind, you do wonder if Brooks Koepka should perhaps enjoy some time of self-reflection as he sits out the US Open. Indeed, the four-time major winner would do well to examine the energy he gives off and how ironically, it seems to be propelling his competitors on to bigger and better things.