PGA Championship 2019: Why Brooks Koepka thinks majors are the easiest events to win
With three major titles and a top-5 world ranking, Brooks Koepka is clearly a force in professional golf. Oddsmakers be damned, GOLF.com staffers have named him the overwhelming favorite this week. At his Tuesday press conference, Koepka broke down just why he’s so confident on the game’s biggest stages.
Turns out, it all comes down to some simple math. Here’s Koepka’s response when asked why he has said that the majors are the easiest tournaments to win:
“One hundred fifty-six in the field, so you figure at least 80 of them I’m just going to beat,” said Koepka, channeling his inner-Bryson DeChambeau. “From there, the other — you figure about half of them won’t play well from there, so you’re down to about maybe 35. And then from 35, some of them just — pressure is going to get to them. It only leaves you with a few more, and you’ve just got to beat those guys.”
Easy, right? It certainly works for Koepka, who won the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, and then backed it up last year with wins at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock and PGA Championship at Bellerive. Last month he finished runner-up to Tiger Woods at the Masters. He enters this week as the PGA’s defending champ, and he’s planning 72 holes of patient golf to get in contention for major title No. 4.
“I think one of the big things that I’ve learned over the last few years is you don’t need to win it, you don’t have to try to go win it. If you hang around, good things are going to happen,” he said. “I think that’s what’s kind of caused me an issue in the regular PGA Tour events. I’ve gone out on Saturday and tried to build a cushion, maybe pressed a little bit too hard and gotten ahead of myself, where in the majors I just stay in the moment. I never think one hole ahead. I’m not thinking about tomorrow. I’m not thinking about the next shot. I’m just thinking about what I’ve got to do right then and there. And I kind of dummy it down and make it very simple, and I think that’s what helps me.”
Koepka tees off Thursday morning at 8:24 a.m. in a glamour group with Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari.