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BROOKLINE, Mass. – Here’s the list of all the players who have beaten Brooks Koepka in his last four starts in the U.S. Open.
That’s it. That’s the list. Seriously, in the toughest test in golf year in and year out, Koepka has only seen four players finish ahead of him.
The four-time major winner won the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills and went back-to-back by winning the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock. He finished runner-up to Gary Woodland in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, missed the 2020 edition at Winged Foot with an injury and tied for fourth in the 2021 U.S. Open won by Rahm at Torrey Pines.
“That’s pretty special,” Koepka said Tuesday at The Country Club, home to the 122nd U.S. Open. “I love this event. This event has always been good to me, so hopefully play well this week.”
Later, was asked again about the scant number of players who have bettered him in his past four starts in the U.S. Open, Koepka didn’t hesitate.
Brooks Koepka of the United States poses with the winner’s trophy with Jena Sims after his victory at the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills on June 18, 2017, in Hartford, Wisconsin. This week’s event marks Koepka’s first as a married man. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
“I wish it was less,” he said.
Considering his recent inactivity, Koepka, 32, could be hard-pressed to keep the number the same or slightly higher this week. He’s played once in the past two months – a tie for 55th in the PGA Championship – and got married June 5 to Jenna Simms in Turks and Caicos.
He’s fallen to 19th in the official world rankings and hasn’t won since the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open. But Koepka feels he’ll be ready and he has the blueprint to winning a U.S. Open – toughness, talent, discipline, resilience, strength, confidence and the ability to not fear pressure but to embrace it.
“I’ve practiced enough. I haven’t played tournament golf,” he said. “I can take time off and still come back and win. It’s not an issue.
“If I grind like I have, obviously the wedding week I didn’t play or practice, but I got back into it right after. I like where my game is at.”
And when it comes to Koepka, the tougher the test, the better.
“You know it’s going to be tough. I like that. I like scores that are somewhat around even par,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult. You have to drive the ball well. Rough is pretty tough, and it’s only going to get tougher because I’m sure they won’t cut it. Golf course is good. It’s kind of weird; got a couple of blind shots, but other than that, it’s a great golf course, fun golf course to play.
“So should be a good week. I feel good. I feel fine. Just excited to go play, go tee it up. It’s a major.”