Brooks Koepka: "Sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win"

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Koepka: "Sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win"

PGA Tour

Brooks Koepka: "Sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win"

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Brooks Koepka has been making it look easy for two years now, ripping off three major victories in his past seven tries.

He even made it sound easy Tuesday morning at Bethpage Black ahead of his PGA Championship title defense.

We know what Koepka has done in storming the major record books with back-to-back U.S. Open titles and the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive, and the obvious question is how.

How has Koepka continued to play his best on the biggest stage?

He actually gave a pretty telling answer there during his 25-minute press conference on a chilly morning in Farmingdale, N.Y..

“I think sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win,” Koepka said. “Half the people shoot themselves out of it, and mentally I know I can beat most of them, and then from there it’s those guys left, who’s going to play good and who can win?”

Koepka isn’t the only one who believes that half of the field is mentally eliminated at majors before they even hit a single shot. Those numbers aren’t exactly precise, but mindset is always huge in golf and even more so four times each year.

As for Koepka actually taking advantage of it like he has, confidence seems to be a huge factor.

“There’s 156 (players) in the field, so you figure at least 80 of them I’m just going to beat,” Koepka said. “From there, you figure about half of them won’t play well, so you’re down to maybe 35. And then from 35, some of them just – pressure is going to get to them. It only leaves you with a few more, and you’ve just got to beat those guys.”

Koepka said he’s learned that simply hanging around rather than trying to force an early charge is often good enough for a shot at a major come Sunday.

This is all easier said than done, but it has merit because the guy saying it has actually done it. Time and time again. He was one stroke behind Tiger Woods for a T-2 finish at the Masters and mentioned his double-bogey at No. 12 in the final round unprompted Tuesday.

Koepka used to find motivation in perceived slights and disrespect at the majors, but he admitted Tuesday that he doesn’t feel like he’s viewed as an underdog anymore. He’s also trying to show a little more personality and let his guard down in these settings.

“I think I’m doing a better job of that, letting (the media) kind of into my life or not viewing you guys as the enemy, which I kind of did maybe early on in my career,” Koepka said. “Listen, this is who I am, and I’m not going to change for anybody. I’m just going to show you guys who I really am.”

One thing that’s clear about Koepka – he’s not going away at the majors anytime soon, and he sets a high personal bar.

As he prepares to take on Bethpage Black this week in pursuit of major No. 4, there’s another number in the back of his mind.

“I don’t see any reason it can’t get to double digits,” Koepka said.

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