What Brooks Koepka said after winning the PGA Championship

Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports

What Brooks Koepka said after winning the PGA Championship

Digital Edition

What Brooks Koepka said after winning the PGA Championship

By

Brooks Koepka hit multiple historic markers with his fourth major victory Sunday.

He won his second consecutive PGA Championship, besting his pal Dustin Johnson by 2 shots after nearly blowing the record 7-shot advantage he carried into the final round.

The superlatives are Tiger-like:

  • Fourth major championship in 23 months
  • 1st back-to-back PGA winner since Woods in 2007
  • Wire-to-wire victory
  • No. 1 in the world
  • 3 straight years with a major title

But this wasn’t strictly business. It was also personal.

And like Michael Corleone during the baptism of his sister’s son, Koepka settled all the family business during his post-round press conference.

Here is some of what Koepka had to say to the media after his triumph.

On his journey to winning 4 majors

“It’s been incredibly quick, I know that. It’s been so much fun these last, what is it, two years, it’s pretty close to two years. It’s incredible. I don’t think I even thought I was going to do it that fast. I don’t think anybody did, and to be standing here today with four majors, it’s mind-blowing.”

On his effort Sunday

“You knew today was going to be a tough day when it was blowing 15 or 20 on the range. I left 10 feeling pretty good and left 14 not feeling so good. It’s very — it can change very, very quick. This golf course, it’s in the trees. You’re going to — once it gets above the tree line, it can do whatever it wants. You’ve just got to hang tough, and it’s been so enjoyable. It was nice to finish on 18. I’m just glad we didn’t have to play anymore, that’s for sure.”

On keeping the chip on his shoulder

“There’s always a chip. I think every great athlete always has a chip, whether it be somebody saying you can’t do something — it doesn’t matter. I feel like you look at Michael Jordan or — I’ve heard him talk about having a chip on his shoulder, and I think that’s important . . . It works for me. Why would I stray from that? It’s one of those things that it doesn’t need to come from anybody. It can come from me. I can make something up in my own head and tell myself I can’t get to 10 or more, and I’m trying to prove myself wrong. It doesn’t need to come from the outside.”

On which criticism angered him the most

“Telling me I wasn’t tough. That pissed me off. That really pissed me off.”

Who told you that you weren’t tough?

I think we all know.

On New York fans cheering for Dustin Johnson

“The hour spent from No. 11 to 14 was interesting. When they started chanting, “DJ” on 14, it actually kind of helped, to be honest with you. I think it helped me kind of refocus and hit a good one down 15. I think that was probably the best thing that could have happened. It was very, very stressful, the last hour and a half of that round. That’s why I let a big sigh of relief go.”

“It’s New York. What do you expect, when you’re half-choking it away . . . I think I kind of deserved it. You’re going to rattle off four in a row and it looks like you’re going to lose it; I’ve been to sporting events in New York. I know how it goes. Like I said, I think it actually helped. It was at a perfect time because I was just thinking, OK, all right. I’ve got everybody against me. Let’s go. Yeah, I mean, I definitely heard the cheers, too. But the chants on 14 green with DJ was — I think that’s kind of when Ricky probably mentioned — for that question earlier — when I was kind of in shock. Kind of all that was going on at the same time.”

On being nervous after his back-nine bogeys

No, I wasn’t nervous. I was just in shock, I think. I was in shock of what was kind of going on. On 14, we had 150 yards to the hole, and Harold hit 8 and the wind ate it up, and mine, it just died on me. You know, I made a good swing there, too. I felt like I just got stuck on a bogey train.”

On whether he thought he would fail Sunday

“It was definitely a test. I never thought about failing. I was trying my butt off. If I would have bogeyed all the way in, you know, I still would have looked at it as I tried my hardest. That’s all I can do. Sometimes that’s all you’ve got. You know, even if I would have lost, I guess you could say choked it away. I tried my tail off just to even make par and kind of right the ship. But I never once thought about it.”

On his mental toughness

It was definitely disappointing at the time walking off 14, but you’ve got to right the ship eventually and try to stay mentally strong and just know, you know, I’ve got a lead and I need to somehow figure out how to get this into 18.

On Bethpage Black hosting the Ryder Cup in 2024

“Good luck to Europe with the fans. This is — I can’t wait to play it. I hope I’m on the team. If not, I just want to be here. It’s going to be very special. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to play it. I’m excited already thinking about it. This is one hell of a place to play Ryder Cup.”

     

Latest

More Digital Edition
Home