By Paul Myers
Brooks Koepka has all of the qualities of a star in the making. He is a young, powerful, talented player who already has a PGA Tour title under his belt. At only 25 years old, he is already ranked 20th in the Official World Golf Rankings. Given his early accomplishments, it would not be a surprise to see Koepka high on the leaderboard of major championships for many years to come.
As a member of the Florida State University golf team, Koepka was three times named an All-American performer. He won three times during his college career, and even qualified as an amateur for the 2012 U.S. Open. Later in 2012, he would turn professional and make a surprising move. Rather than working his way up through the smaller events in the United States, Koepka headed to Europe to compete on the Challenge Tour. This is a rare path for an American player to take, but it has paid off nicely.
Koepka quickly found success on the Challenge Tour, winning four events at that level and earning his European Tour membership. In 2014, he won the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour and was eventually named as the European Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year. It was a bold move to head to Europe after leaving Florida State, but it can be considered nothing short of an incredible success. In February of 2015, at just 24 years old, Koepka took home his first PGA Tour title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Impressive Power Game
One of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, Koepka has averaged 305 yards per drive so far during the 2015 PGA Tour season. His average club head speed is an incredible 121.78 miles per hour, which is good enough to rank 6th on the Tour. No matter how you look at it, there are very few professional golfers with the ability to hit the ball as far as Brooks Koepka.
As you might expect, that power doesn’t lead to a particularly high number of fairways hit. In 2015, Koepka is hitting just 57.60% of the fairways, ranking him 153rd on Tour. However, that lack of accuracy off the tee is not hurting him in terms of finding greens in regulation. His GIR percentage is a solid 67.74%, which is ranked 63rd at this point in the season. Not surprisingly for a player with his raw power, Koepka is one of the best players on Tour at making eagle, already recording 8 of them on the season. That gives him a rate of one eagle per 69.8 holes, which is 3rd best on the Tour.
In the end, there is only one stat that really matters – scoring average. While the other stats can help to tell a story, the only goal of every player on Tour is to get the ball into the hole as quickly as possible. And in that regard, Koepka is clearly one of the elite players in the world. For the 2015 season, his PGA Tour scoring average is 70.131, placing him 14th.
Golf fans should get used to the name Brooks Koepka. With elite power, worldwide experience, and a PGA Tour win early in his career, Koepka is a player that seems destined for stardom.