Chase Koepka, Brooks’ Younger Brother Playing in Europe
As golf fans, we know a lot about Brooks Koepka. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be real golf fans. He’s everywhere, he contends everywhere, and when it comes to majors, he wins almost everywhere lately. Now that his star has risen, the muscular but surgical player has few peers, which means that when he has something to say, he says it – must be nice. What kind of life would a younger brother of such a figure have, trying to garner some success in the same business? We would have to ask younger brother, Chase Koepka.
The younger Koepka is in his mid-twenties, and in his first half-decade as a pro. The results are mixed so far, but Chase is staying focused on making good on the European Tour. He came out of the program at the University of South Florida between 2012 and 2016. I don’t know where USF sits on the list of prestigious golf teams, but it’s in Florida, and that couldn’t hurt. Regardless, Chase Koepka won four tournaments in those years, as brother Brooks was gearing up for his first couple of majors.
The next stop for Chase was the Challenge Tour, which didn’t go so well in the first year, but improved considerably in the second. He got into a lot of top 10s, and had finished as a runner-up twice, at the Italian Classic and the Kazakhstan Open. Honestly, I had no idea that Kazakhstan held golf tournaments, but more power to them. He climbed to 9th in the Order of Merit, making the European Tour by 2018 in his third year. The jury is still out on his progress there. The two brothers were able to team up once at the Zurich Classic, finishing 5th. That was probably a lot of fun. As the younger brother of a fine golfer, I’d much rather play with him than against him, especially if money is involved.
The stereotypical dynamics of being a younger brother are universal, although sometimes it’s the younger won who blooms into the star. Still, when your older, bulkier, richer, more famous brother appears at Thanksgiving, your weekend is going to require some mental preparation. To fawn over the son who won a local boxing championship is for many just the way things go, and when the fragile, bespectacled little brother wins an international cello competition, he gets “You play the what? What is that thing?” Worse, though, is to be in the same business, where two pro quarterbacks sit down in front of the turkey with one wearing two or three Superbowl rings. I don’t know anything about the dynamic between Chase and Brooks, but if it’s like my family, the teasing can be horrendous. We’re both good at it, but my older brother holds most of the cards when reality checks roll around. Older brothers often possess the trait of generosity and encouragement to younger brothers as well, so maybe Chase and Koepka have the gift of being mutually supportive once the turkey is in the past.
With all that having been said, I’m not going to bail on Chase Koepka. He’s going to get his moment in the sun, and he may make something very good out of it. Apparently, he’s still based in Florida, and I assume that at some point, the PGA will figure in his aspirations. Even if things are good between brothers, perhaps the younger one needs a little space, and playing across the Atlantic might be just the ticket for a while. As a natural fan of the underdog, I’ll be there rooting for him, despite being a fan of the major-crazy older brother as well.