The modern day King of Majors, Brooks Koepka arrives at Bethpage Black as the defending champion, having defeated Tiger Woods by two strokes a year ago at Bellerive Country Club.
The win was Koepka’s second major championship of the 2018 season, and his third in his previous six major starts.
The 29-year-old world No. 3 – who has more major titles (3) than regular PGA Tour wins (2), was unsurprisingly in the mix again last month at Augusta National, finishing co-runner-up to Woods.
As a whole, Koepka has been very boom-or-bust in the 2019 season, but he enters Long Island, New York in good form, having finished solo-4th at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
Koepka was the only player inside the world’s top 18 to even play in the Dallas event, so it will be interesting to see what kind of carryover there might be. Although, teeing it up the week prior to a major has worked in the past, and now seems part of his major championship preparation.
“I like to play the week before. I think it’s something that’s kind of helped me. Dallas last week, every time I’ve won, I’ve played the week before,” said Koepka on Tuesday at Bethpage State Park.
“We’ve looked at stats, we’ve looked at everything, and trying to figure out how I can better myself when it comes to a major. And I think playing that week before, building a rhythm, just getting a little bit more touch, a little bit more feel, and then working on whatever I need to work on, it’s pretty simple.”
Koepka will play the opening two rounds with Masters winner Woods, and 2018 Open Champion Francesco Molinari, continuing the PGA’s tradition of pairing up the three most recent major championship winners. And with Koepka also the reigning U.S. Open champ, the threesome will tee off holding all four major titles.