Brooks Koepka's recipe for major success is simple ... very simple

Brooks Koepka PGA Getty Images

Brooks Koepka's recipe for major success is simple ... very simple

PGA Tour

Brooks Koepka's recipe for major success is simple ... very simple

CHARLOTTE – Death, taxes and … Brooks Koepka playing well in major championships.

Koepka’s 3-under 68 Thursday at the PGA Championship continued the 27-year-old golfer’s run of success in majors. Koepka has a victory (this year’s U.S. Open) and five other top 10s in his last 13 majors starts with no missed cuts. He also has broken par nine times in his last 11 major-championship rounds.

So what’s his key to success? Well, it’s simple – very simple.

“I think it just comes down to, you know, preparation,” Koepka said. “We do a lot of work and we focus in on these majors, and that’s when you’re trying to peak, trying to play your best. Sometimes it’s a lot simpler than people think. I think people kind of psyche themselves out quite a bit in a major, put too much pressure on themselves. It’s the same game I’ve been playing for 23, 24 years.

“All you’ve got to do is put the ball in the hole and move on.”

Koepka’s ability to minimize the enormity of big tournaments and stay relaxed was on display again on Thursday. He missed a 5-footer for birdie on his opening hole, the par-5 10th. And he was even par with only a single birdie through 12 holes, as he struggled to get comfortable on greens that Koepka said were nearly unplayable.

“You never really quite felt like the ball was ever going to stop,” he said.

So he pitched-in for birdie at the par-4 third, and then after another short miss on the difficult par-3 fourth green, Koepka added three more birdies to sit just one off the lead after the morning wave. He bested playing competitors Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia by four and seven shots, respectively.

“It’s a major … it’s going to test your patience one way or another, so I tried to move on with everything,” Koepka said. “You know, one shot at a time, as cliché as that is, it’s so easy to get frustrated out here with a mediocre shot that ends up in a special spot, or you feel like you have a good chance that never really amounts to anything. That’s just a major. You’ve got to stay patient.”

That’s experience talking. Koepka broke through for his first major triumph two months ago at Erin Hills. And he did it in typical Koepka fashion: hit long drives, make birdies and make it look easy. That’s just how Koepka is; and it works.

Which is why it wasn’t a total shock to find out that he and his caddie talked about vacation plans late in that final round at the U.S. Open. And why it’s even less of a surprise that Koepka’s goal for this week – and every major, for that matter – is to not make a double bogey.

“I don’t know when the last time I did (make a double) in a major,” Koepka said. “I’m sure it’s happened. But I feel like, you know, it takes one hole to recover from a bogey and it takes two to come back from a double.

“You’re not going to make many birdies in a major championship, so you need to stay patient and try to give yourself good looks.”

He makes it sound so simple. And he makes it look even easier.

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