Brooks Koepka’s mindset proves valuable, explains PGA Championship success

Brooks Koepka, the reigning PGA Championship winner, brings a distinct strategy to major tournaments, setting him apart from his peers.

His focus hits another level, and he transforms into someone else.

No wonder he has the nickname ‘Major Brooks.’

“My demeanor and focus are just different. I can’t explain it,” Koepka said Wednesday at Valhalla Golf Club.

“Everybody on the team can see it. They know I can walk right past them and I don’t even know they are there sometimes. It’s a grinding week. You’ve got to be fully locked in. I feel like you can’t take one shot off. I love that. You’re always one shot away from making a double bogey, and that’s what I love.”

The four majors have always meant something more to Koepka, similar to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Hence, Koepka wants to break their records and win as many majors as possible. Koepka clinched his fifth major title at Oak Hill a year ago, making him the 20th player to achieve that feat.

Brooks Koepka, PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka during a practice round ahead of the 2024 PGA Championship.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/PGA of America via Getty Images

His mindset sets him apart. When he won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2017 and 2018 and then consecutive PGA Championships in 2018 and 2019, Koepka looked like a robot—leading many to compare him to Woods.

Both players have the ability to get into a competitive mindset that makes them nearly unbeatable.

However, Koepka is not invincible. While he said he stays “pretty locked in” at majors, he admitted to looking ahead at other times of the year.

“You’re supposed to go out and win and go compete,” he said.

“It’s happened to me, but try not to let that happen.”

Koepka came up short at The Masters this year despite entering the tournament as one of the favorites. Taking home a Green Jacket is something he desperately wants.

He finished tied for 45th at Augusta National and called the performance a wasted time. He finished runner-up to Jon Rahm at the 2023 Masters.

After The Masters, he apologized to his team and turned the intensity up a notch.

“We had a good talk and just kind of put our nose down and kept grinding,” he said. “You know, had some difficult punishment workouts. It was long hours on the range. I just worked with everybody and tried to go back to the fundamentals, which was the important thing.”

Koepka figured out the issue and, a couple of weeks later, won the LIV Golf Singapore event.

He, along with Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, are all coming off big wins in their latest starts, which makes this major championship at a big-boy course like Valhalla even more exciting.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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