You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

+Sports Top Stories

U.S. Open notes: Brooks Koepka resents aim for third title in row is not a hot topic

Los Angeles Times logo Los Angeles Times 12/06/2019 By Tod Leonard and Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
Brooks Koepka speaks to the media at a news conference at the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt York) © AP Brooks Koepka speaks to the media at a news conference at the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt York)

It would seem the quarry would be bare of rock chips for Brooks Koepka to place on his broad shoulders.

Incredibly, after four major victories in fewer than two years, Koepka keeps finding more.

On Tuesday at Pebble Beach, where Koepka will try to win a third straight U.S. Open beginning Thursday, the 28-year-old was asked in a news conference where the chips on his shoulder come from.

Video: Koepka and McIlroy success a driving factor for Spieth (Perform)

Replay Video

Koepka, who captured last month's PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, admitted some of his resentment is self-created, but also noted there were videos produced by Fox Sports to promote this U.S. Open, and the two-time defending champion was not part of one of them.

"There's a couple of things where it's just mind-boggling," Koepka said. "It's, like, really? Like, how do you forget that?"

Later, Koepka said, "I didn't actually see [the promo] for a long time. A bunch of people on Twitter I think tagged me in it, and I guess were amazed that I wasn't in it. I just clicked on the link and saw it and watched it. Just kind of shocked. They've had over a year to kind of put it out. So I don't know. Somebody probably got fired over it or should."

Koepka was laughing for that last line, but clearly will use it for motivation as he tries to become the second player in U.S. Open history to win the tournament three straight years. When Koepka seized last year's Open at Shinnecock Hills, he joined Curtis Strange (1988-89) as the only back-to-back winners since Ben Hogan (1950-51).

Scotsman Willie Anderson captured his three straight U.S. Opens from 1903 through '05 in an era when fields numbered fewer than 100 players.

Of possibly matching Anderson, Koepka said, "I haven't talked to anybody about going three in a row. I'm not thinking about it. I know the odds are stacked up probably even more against me now to go three in a row than to back it up. It's hard to win the same event three times in a row. I don't know how many times it's even been done on the PGA Tour, let alone a major championship."

FARMINGDALE, NY - MAY 19: Brooks Koepka celebrates his victory on the 18th hole during the final round of the 101st PGA Championship held at Bethpage Black Golf Course on May 19, 2019 in Farmingdale, New York. (Photo by Hailey Garrett/PGA of America via Getty Images) © Getty Images FARMINGDALE, NY - MAY 19: Brooks Koepka celebrates his victory on the 18th hole during the final round of the 101st PGA Championship held at Bethpage Black Golf Course on May 19, 2019 in Farmingdale, New York. (Photo by Hailey Garrett/PGA of America via Getty Images)

In the modern playing of the four majors, only one man has won three straight of any single event. Australian Peter Thomson lifted the British Open's Claret Jug from 1954-56.

Remarkably, among the record 18 majors Jack Nicklaus has won, he went back-to-back only once (1965 and '66 Masters). Thirty-one players have repeated at majors. Koepka is the current repeat champion of the U.S. Open and PGA.

Koepka was still in college when the 2010 U.S. Open was played at Pebble Beach, and his pro experience here is limited to a 2016 appearance in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He played two rounds at Pebble and tied for eighth.

Gallery: Golf's unlikeliest major winners (Read Sport)

With Pebble playing at a short 7,075 yards, Koepka figures he'll hit his driver on only a couple holes all week, opting for three-wood instead, and doesn't feel as if it's a disadvantage.

"I've got a shorter club, it's easier to hit it on line," he said. "I should, technically, be more in the fairway than the guy who is hitting driver."

Learn more about our Women in Sport campaign


AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon