Watching him walk, play, or show his emotions for a birdie putt on the course, no one would say that Brooks Koepka could talk the way he did after winning his third PGA Championship and fifth Grand Slam on Sunday at Oak Hill in Rochester (NY).
Since 1950 he is the seventh player to achieve his fifth 'major' before turning 34, and the six that precede him are: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods.
Brooks Koepka, statements
Serious injuries to both knees (and left hip) in recent years had pushed him off the list of favorites at major tournaments.
However, in the last year all the treatments and rehabilitation have given the desired results and his knees seem to have regenerated. Koepka had already warned of his intentions in the Masters that Jon Rahm won, and before that, in the 2021 PGA, on Kiawah Island, where Phil Mickelson beat him.
"Sorry for the language, but no one knows the shit I've been through. No one knows all the pain. There were times when I couldn't even bend my knee. A couple of years ago I was lost, I didn't know where my swing was golf and I had no idea if I was going to be able to get back to the level I was at," Koepka said minutes after lifting his third Wanamaker trophy, and fifth 'major'
"I'm back, in case anyone doubted it. This is the most exciting of the five, the most relevant, the most important to me. It tastes better. It's great to look back now and see where I've come from now. I remember the days of the Challenge Tour, when I went to Kenya, Kazakhstan and all those places and got to see the world," he added.
Here he failed to add Catalonia. Koepka's path to his fifth Grand Slam after winning two US Open (2017 and 2018) and two PGA (2018 and 2019) and reaching number one in the world ranking after winning the CJ Cup in South Korea in October 2018 , reflects the evolution of a golfer who began his meteoric progression in a Challenge Tour tournament in Catalonia, specifically the Challenge de Catalunya that he won in La Graiera (Calafell) in 2012.
Probably, more than one fan on the other side of the Atlantic has now discovered a player who had already been 'signed' for more than a decade in Europe, and more specifically on the Challenge Tour. His first great triumph, as we say, was achieved in Spain, in the province of Tarragona.
Koepka not only won, but also left behind the credentials of being a magnificent player, as he did later. “I never thought he would come so fast to win in the United States, but I owe it to the Challenge Tour and the European Tour. I learned a lot there," Brooks acknowledged eight years ago in Scottsdale.