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Born: 3 May 1990
Birthplace: West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
College: Florida State University
Resides: Jupiter, Florida, USA
Major Wins: 4
Euro or PGA Tour Wins : 5
Other Wins: 6
Grass Preference: Bermuda
Significant Life Events: Yes
GBC Wind Performance Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
GBC Pressure Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Brooks is a vastly underrated four time Major champion and former world number one. He is a formidable competitor who heavily focuses on his athletic ability as well as his golfing ability. Never afraid to be different, he focuses his season around the Major Championships.
Brooks took the unusual step for a young American golfer of coming over to Europe to start his career on the Challenge Tour. He played a curtailed season in 2012, making 12 starts and winning once to give an indicator of his potential. He wasted little time when he returned in 2013 as he won three times in ten starts to receive automatic promotion to the European Tour. He only needed one year on the European Tour to demonstrate he could compete at that level (winning the Turkish Airlines Open) before moving over to play the PGA Tour in 2015.
Brooks move to the PGA Tour and increased focus on Majors has meant that between 2015 and 2020 he has as many regular PGA Tour wins as he does Majors (4 wins each).
Beginning with the 2017 US Open, Brooks went on an unbelievable run of golf which brought him four Majors in only eight starts. Only Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have been able to replicate that form over such a short timeframe. When you consider that only Brooks, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen and Tiger Woods have won the US Open and US PGA Championship, you start to realise just how significant his achievement was.
Brooks turned 30 in May 2020 and it was interesting that he was quoted at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Championship as saying, “I’ve told my team, I want to rededicate myself for the next five years and really put my stamp on the game.”
Brooks is also on the comeback trail in 2020 as he had surgery on his left knee at the end of 2019. Even though the injury had been bothering him since the end of 2017, last year in particular it particularly bothered him (quote again from Abu Dhabi) “Last year, I just couldn’t practice. My left knee was too painful and I wasn’t being able to do the things I wanted to. I couldn’t put any weight on it. I usually play the week before a major and, if not before, for the Open and the Masters then at least get there a few days before. I couldn’t do that.”
Brooks suffered further injury in 2020 and it was very much a stop-start year for him.
SG: OFF THE TEE
SG: AROUND THE GREEN
Pressure Performance Analysis
Another Major and another disappointing Sunday for Brooks. Entered the final round one shot behind Phil Mickelson but could only muster a 74 (2nd worst score of the players in the top 25). Still not 100% fit after knee surgery as he couldn't bend down fully to read putts.
Began the final round of the 2021 WGC Workday Championship 2 shots behind Collin Morikawa. Shot 70 to finish 3 shots behind.
Began the final round of the Phoenix Open 5 shots behind Spieth and Xander. Shot 65 to win by 1 shot. Chipped in for eagle on 17. A really excellent round from off the pace.
Began the final round of the PGA Championship 2 shots behind Dustin Johnson and shot 74 to finish 29th, 10 shots behind winner Collin Morikawa who shot 64. It was an extremely poor performance.
Began the final round of the WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational 3 shots behind Brendon Todd. Shot 69 to finish 2nd, 3 shots behind Justin Thomas, however it was closer than it looked with Brooks double bogeying the last hole when 1 behind. He also bogeyed the easy par 5 16th when tied with Thomas at the top of the leaderboard.
Again trailed Rory McIlroy by 1 going into the final round of the Tour Championship. Shot a 2 over par 72 to lose out by 7 shots.
Trailed Rory McIlroy by 1 going into the final round of the WGC FedEx Invitational. Shot a 65 to win by three.
Trailed by 4 going into final round of US Open. Despite shooting a 68 he was denied by a brilliant Gary Woodland.
Won the US PGA Championship wire to wire, becoming only the fifth man ever to do so.
Shot a 2 under 70 when trailing by 3 at The Masters going into the final round. Denied only by Tiger.
Trailed by 3 at the Honda Classic. Shot 66 only to be beaten by Keith Mitchell's 65.
Brooks is a comfortable front runner or coming from behind and there are very few instances of him not posting a good final round if in contention in recent years. However, recent attempts in 2020 at the WGC, 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 PGA Championship suggest his air of invincibility in contention is not what it once was. It should be noted that he won in impressive fashion from off the pace in Phoenix in 2021. His Golf Betting Club Pressure Performance Rating is set to 4 stars.
Five of Brooks last six wins have come after posting a top 10 finish the week before. He's definitely a player to stay hot and back when he's in form.
Avoid when playing here
Brooks tends to down tools at the final event of the year. He missed the cut at Mayakoba in 2020, withdrew from the CJ Cup in 2019, finished last in the Hero World Challenge in 2017 and 13th of 17 in the 2016 Hero World Challenge.
Avoid when rusty
Brooks used to be a reliable early season performer but recent seasons have seen him struggle. His opening results between 2020 and 2017 read 34-24-34-MC but we should bear in mind the two results in the middle came at the Tournament of Champions, where there were only 33 and 34 participants. He's also taken mid-season breaks (5+ weeks) in each of the past three years and failed to record a top 25 on his return.
Major and WGC Analysis
Brooks is Mr Majors. His record in recent Majors is unparalleled and he could easily have had more than 4 Majors to date.
Brooks had trouble with The Open Championship earlier in his career but having posted three top 10 finishes in his last four starts in the event, he's shown that he is learning links golf. It remains the Major he is least likely to win however.
Brooks must be strongly considered for the Masters in 2021. He is getting a feel for Augusta with trending event finishes of 33-21-11-2-7.
Winner of the 2019 WGC - FedEx St Jude Invitational and followed it with 2nd in 2020, he can be supported strongly for this event.
Also has a 2nd at the 2017 WGC- HSBC Champions and 2021 WGC Workday Championship.
Brooks has only ever been in one playoff and lost out to Sergio Garcia at the 2016 AT&T Byron Nelson. We wouldn't bet against Brooks in a playoff given his record since then though.
Q. Being a Florida guy, having the Florida Swing, how much of a transition is it from the West Coast to here?
BROOKS KOEPKA: That's why I don't play the West Coast. I enjoy it here. I enjoy it in Florida. It's a lot more comfortable on the greens this first couple starts of the year. The greens are a bit interesting in Hawai'i. I struggle on poa. Especially fast, slopey poa like last week, I don't play my best, but it'll be nice to get on some Bermuda and really roll the rock.
2019 PGA Championship
Q. One of the things that's been common through your three prior major wins, and has been so true this week, is your putting. Can you talk about how well you've putted this week?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I putted great. I feel every time -- I feel like I even slide the putter right behind the ball, it's lined up perfectly, and I don't -- I don't have to do anything. I don't have to kind of adjust. I feel as comfortable as I've ever felt putting this week. You know, like I said, poa isn't my favorite grass to putt on, but I felt like my speed control has been pretty good.