Brooks Koepka may be the holder of the PGA Championship and a two-time defender of the US Open, but there’s a determination to add at least seven more titles to his cabinet before calling it a day.
Speaking ahead of his defence, Koepka issued a strong statement of intent, while at the same time putting himself in the crosshairs of at least half the field of professional golf.
The muscle-heavy American offered a frank assessment when asked about his thought process heading into a Major week.
‘I think sometimes the majors are the easiest ones to win,’ said Koepka.
‘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’re going to play good and who can win.’
Now third in the world rankings, Koepka aims to join an elite group of players to have won 10 Majors.
The likes of Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Gary Player have all failed to achieve what the 29-year-old believes he is more than capable of getting.
‘I don’t see any reason it can’t get to double digits. I think you keep doing what you’re supposed to do, you play good, you peak at the right times, I don’t see any reason it can’t.’
A piece of history is on the line this week as Koepka seeks to become the first player to be back-to-back reigning champion at two majors at the same time.
‘I’m playing really good. The last time we played this championship, I won. I like my chances this week. If I do what I’m supposed to do, then I think I’d be tough to beat. But at the end of the day, you never know what’s going to happen. You’ve got to go out and play four good days.’
The talk of Koepka becoming Woods’ newest and fiercest rival doesn’t interest the younger American, who held off a charging Woods in this event last year.
‘I don’t see it as a rivalry. It’s just golf. It’s not like there’s a huge history there, although it is fun to play against him, best player to ever play the game.’
Keeping with tradition, Woods will join Koepka for the first two rounds alongside The Open champion Francesco Molinari in the 2:24pm tee time.