Brooks Koepka’s X-Factor: 33YO Reveals The ‘Firepower’ That Ended an Aching Two Year Long Curse

Published 02/11/2024, 3:30 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Two years ago, he made the money move to LIV Golf and won for the first time in the breakaway league. However, Brooks Koepka just a few hours ago proved himself to be a credible captain. Koepka’s team Smash GC won the LIV Golf Las Vegas and attained their maiden victory as a team. Smash GC had gone through many notable changes before the 2024 season.

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Pertaining to the same, the captain talked about the X factor that changed their fate in Las Vegas Country Club and how past team dynamic woes have since been left behind as the curse of Smash GC was broken at the end.

Brooks Koepka’s team move becomes fruitful

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At Sin City, Dustin Johnson went on to lift the individual champion’s title, breaking his 8-month winless streak and Smash GC also secured their first team victory. Before the season started, Brooks Koepka’s younger brother Chase Koepka got relegated from LIV Golf, and the eventual rift between the captain and Matthew Wolff resulted in a trade, leaving Koepka and Jason Korak as the only members.

To complete the team, Talor Gooch filled the place of Wolff, and Graeme McDowell became the fresh face to be introduced to the team. The Irish golfer’s induction was also warmly welcomed by the team’s skipper’s wife Jena Sims. Moreover, six days ago, LIV Golf changed the three-player score count for the final day to four. The team and format changes had seemed to work for Smash GC, as Koepka said, “doing the off-season moves before the four scores counted — I thought it was great having three, but then I think it actually turned to our benefit.”

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The captain was satisfied with his team’s dynamic and confidence in their game. Koepka complimented his guys, saying that they’ve got a massive “firepower” from the golfers. Moreover, he pressed that now his team has players “that know how to win, know how to play golf.” Koepka continued his appreciation for the team and said, “Great players play well in tough conditions.”

One player that Koepka was highly appreciative of was McDowell. He said, “I’m beyond proud of him” and his other teammates. All three were in the top five and, at one point, ready to win it. Koepka pressed how incredible it was to have three guys from his side for contention; he said, “That’s all you can ask for.” While all three members of Smash GC played extremely well, the captain himself seemed to be struggling a little.

Brooks Koepka’s run at Las Vegas Country Club

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Brooks Koepka entered the Las Vegas Country Club with a top performance at the season opener last week in Mayakoba, Mexico. The 5-time major champ had played exceptionally and stayed tied at fifth on the leaderboard. He was just four strokes away from winning his fourth LIV Golf event.

The second event of the season would have been expected to follow a similar path. However, destiny had something else in store for him. Unlike the top 5 finish at El Camaleon, at Las Vegas CC, Koepka was out of the top 10. The player shot fewer birdies—only three in the last round and finished with a score of 1 under 69.

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With a three-round total coming out to six under 204, Koepka had to suffice himself with T12 on the leaderboard. He was six strokes away from the lead while his three teammates were charting the scoreboard. Nonetheless, despite not gaining an individual victory, Koepka stood at the LIV Golfpofium with his newly formed team for the first time. As the team task is done for a while, winning the individual event would be the next target for Koepka.

Watch This Story | Brooks Koepka Has a Bold Reason For Shifting to LIV Golf: ‘I Was Going to Go One Way or Another’

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Written by:

Khambe Huda Imran

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Huda Khambe is a Golf Writer for EssentiallySports. Growing up watching Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam bag one major after the other, Huda Khambe set herself on a path to becoming a sports writer early on. With a year of prior experience in writing, Huda now brings the greens to life with her unique insights on her favorite storylines, such as Jack Nicklaus's record rivalry with Tiger Woods and its impact on both stars.
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Edited by:

Tushhita.barua

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