On Sunday, Brooks Koepka won the U.S. Open at Erin Hills, beating the rest of the field by a healthy four strokes and tying Rory McIlroy’s mark for lowest-under-par score in the history of the tournament at 16-under.
It was just Koepka’s second career win on the PGA Tour and his first major victory, but the win was not a complete surprise either. Koepka has finished in the top 15 at a major eight times in the last four years, including the last four he has entered, and a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open in 2014.
With all his success, one might expect Koepka to be a golfer-for-life; someone who watched greats like Tiger and Phil in his youth and knew from a young age that he would someday be a major champion like them. However, during to a 2015 interview with Golf Digest, Koepka made it clear this was not the case.
“To be honest, I’m not a big golf nerd,” Koepka said in 2015. “Golf is kind of boring, not much action. I come from a baseball family, and it’s in my blood.”
In 2015 Koepka made $US3.5 million playing on Tour, and that’s before including any sponsorship deals. But despite his financial success, he still insisted he wished he had chosen another path.
“If I could do it over again, I’d play baseball — 100 per cent, no doubt,” Koepka said.
By winning the U.S. Open, Koepka took home $US2.1 million this week alone.
Koepka is right that baseball is in his blood — his great uncle Dick Groat won two World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was named National League MVP in 1960.
But Koepka acknowledged that the pure baseball talent didn’t come quite as easily to him. When asked why he didn’t pursue baseball instead, Koepka said, “Could never hit a home run as a kid. Maybe I was too small, but it drove me nuts. I kind of wish I’d stuck with it.”
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