Let’s come to an understanding before we get into this latest offering. Brooks Koepka is not Jack Nicklaus. There is only one Nicklaus. However, I do see similarities between the two.
Jack Nicklaus turned pro in November of 1961. He was a power player who drove it 280 yards plus, with persimmon woods and balata golf balls. His legendary long irons were hit high and landed soft. His body was well covered and was strong as an Ohio State linebacker. He had a mind that was focused, strong, and dissected golf courses with precision. According to PGA lore he was one of the first to use a yardage book. When he came on tour Nicklaus was not well received by the golfing public. You see Jack was challenging The King. Arnold Palmer. Palmer had Hollywood looks, played with an all in attitude, and in the 60’s he made golf sexy! According to Nicklaus, none of this really bothered him, he was there to win golf tournaments. However, as time moved on Jack did change his look and slowly the golfing public began to accept him.
Fast forward 50 years. Brooks Koepka is playing the European Tour. BK wins four times on the European Challenge Tour and in 2014 he plays 15 European Tour events and is in the money 11 times with a scoring average of 70.27. As someone who follows the European tour I felt he should have been a Captains pick to play at Gleneagles that year. It made sense to have someone who plays that tour on your team. BTW Americans lose the Ryder Cup!
Koepka has won three majors in the last 23 months and fell one swing short at this year’s Masters. He took on Tiger in the 2018 PGA and did not flinch. This week he was paired with Woods and beat him by 17 shots. Much like Nicklaus taking on Palmer in the 1962 US Open and beating Palmer in his own back yard. What we are watching right now is a physically fit version of Jack Nicklaus. He overpowers golf courses, hits towering long irons and putts with Nicklaus confidence. Koepka is confident in his abilities, but I do not sense any arrogance. Just a lot self-belief.
I do not know if Koepka will win this week as we are only 36 holes into the tournament. The fun part will watching Koepka’s and how he goes about his business. Jack always had a plan and it was successful 18 times. Just remember it is not about the golf, it about how the golf is played.
He plays a game of which I am not familiar. Bob Jones.