No one will ever mistake Brooks Koepka for an insecure person. He’s one of the most confident golfers on the PGA Tour, and he’s one of the best as well.
So it’s no surprise that he believes he can contend with Jack Nicklaus for the most majors in the history of the sport. But first, he has his eye on Tiger Woods, who Koepka believes he will catch.
“In my mind, I’m going to catch him on majors. I believe that. I don’t see any reason that can stop me. I’m 31. I have another 14 years left,” Koepka said, per Yahoo Sports. “If I win one a year, I got Jack.”
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Nicklaus has the most major wins in golf history with 18. Woods has earned 15 during his career and was once thought a shoo-in to pass Nicholson. However, late-career injuries have derailed Woods’ efforts. He went 11 years between his 2008 U.S. Open win and 2019 Masters win, his 14th and 15th major titles.
Needless to say, Koepka’s goal is a lofty one. The 31-year-old has won four majors to date, though all four have come during the past two years. However, Woods had won 13 majors before he turned 32. As for Nicklaus, he had won nine through his Age 31 season. So Koepka has a lot of work to do to catch those two legends.
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That said, Koepka also doesn’t want anyone to think he’s being cocky. He said that having this mindset simply helps him to compete for first place on a weekly basis.
“People misconstrue that as being cocky. No, that’s just my belief,” Koepka said. “If I don’t have that belief, I shouldn’t be out there. If you don’t think you can win, why the hell are you teeing it up?
“Yeah, I’m just going for second place this week. There’s a lot of that on Tour. Even elite players are very happy with that. Second? Sports are made to have a winner and a loser. You’re one or the other.”
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Koepka’s next chance to add to his major win total will come at The Master’s in April 2022. Until then, he’ll set his sites on earning a Ryder Cup win as a part of the USA’s squad at the event.
Koepka is dealing with a wrist injury that forced him to withdraw at the Tour Championship a few weeks ago, so his status will bear watching. And Koepka described how “tough” the matchplay tournament can be.
“There are times where I’m like, I won my match. I did my job. What do you want from me? I know how to take responsibility for the shots I hit every week,” Koepka said. “Now, somebody else hit a bad shot and left me in a bad spot, and I know this hole is a loss.
“It’s a bit odd, if I’m honest. I don’t want to say it’s a bad week. We’re just so individualized, and everybody has their routine and a different way of doing things, and now, it’s like, OK, we have to have a meeting at this time or go do this or go do that. … The physical part, I can handle. The mental side, you have to be able to turn it off.”