Why Brooks Koepka is the Greatest Golfer of This Generation

Published 05/22/2023, 2:08 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Golf often finds a megastar among its players, whom fans and enthusiasts idolize over a generation. Some of the greatest ever have worn that hat, with the headliner of yesteryear being Tiger Woods. But it’s time for a transition!

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At 47, Woods is no longer the swashbuckling hitter he was. Many have thrown down the gauntlet to make a case for themselves but have failed miserably. Some have contested the title for numerous years before eventually falling off the cliff, never to return. But one of them, five-time major championship winner Brooks Koepka, has made a theatrical comeback. Evidently, the LIV golfer has earned the right to crown himself as the game’s greatest player of his generation.

The Fall and Rise of Brooks Koepka

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Having made an incredible entry on the PGA Tour, Koepka was the game’s undisputed king during the peak of his prowess. Indeed, after biding his time since his miserable debut at the 2012 US Open, he secured his first major championship at the same tournament in 2017.

There was no stopping him now, as Koepka won three more majors in the space of 24 months. He even reached the number-one spot in the world golf rankings during the same phase and stayed at the summit for an incredible 47 weeks.

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Visibly, there were whispers about a new champion golfer in town. Koepka shared a number of similar traits with his predecessor, Tiger Woods. But the most remarkable attribute was his raging mentality and composure at the game’s highest level, which remain one of Woods’ salient features.

However, like every other golfer who went pro, Koepka had his fair share of downfalls, which pulled him into near oblivion!

How did Brooks Koepka rise from the ashes?

Koepka’s struggles began after he painfully endured a torn patella tendon in August 2019. That setback was followed by another hip injury in 2020. However, the worst was yet to come.

Amidst all the injuries and knocks, the former World No. 1 suffered a serious knee injury that left him with a broken kneecap in 2021. Koepka’s physical dominance on the course was gone. Along with it, his biggest strength, the fire in his mentality, was also gradually extinguishing!

Furthermore, Koepka moved to the breakaway LIV Golf Series, which earned him a handsome nine-figure contract and millions of hurls and abuses from traditionalists worldwide. His kneecap wasn’t doing him any favors, either, which left the once-star golfer with a mountain to climb, even at the 48-member, no-cut LIV events.

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Koepka was at a new low come the end at the 2021–22 season. But there were glimpses of his old form when he won the season-ending event at LIV Jeddah. The 33-year-old made the hard yards in the off-season, which were backed up by his adoring wife, Jena Sims, who would post snippets of her husband’s remarkable work ethic on social media.

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It paid off soon, as Koepka rounded off another victory in LIV. But many downplayed the in-form golfer’s ability to make any noise at the season-opening major championship, where he played breathtaking golf to lead the field for the majority of the week.

While he eventually fell short of a maiden Green Jacket, Koepka made sure to keep the fire burning inside when he stepped onto the Oak Hill East Course for the 2023 PGA Championship. Never one to give up, the Florida-born player was head and shoulders above the rest of the competition as he scripted a memorable victory to claim an extraordinary fifth major championship in six years.

To put it in perspective, no active golfer in his 30s has more major championships than Brooks Koepka. His five majors put him among the game’s most elite players ever, with only 20 players having ever achieved that feat.

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The marvelous resurgence won’t be possible without his wife, family, and fans around the world. With another title in his cabinet, Koepka can finally stake his claim as golf’s next heralded superstar.

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Written by:

Sharan Nair

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Sharan Nair is a Senior Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. He constantly covers the ongoing PGA vs LIV Golf tussle as it progresses. With over 600 articles to his name, Sharan masters the sport with his in-depth knowledge and research that is reflected in his meticulous coverage of all the Majors.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira

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