Brooks Koepka Qualifies for 43rd Ryder Cup
Residence: Jupiter, Florida
World Ranking: 8
Ryder Cup ranking: 4
Ryder Cup appearances: 2 (2016, 2018)
U.S. Ryder Cup record: 4-3-1 total (2-2-0 four-ball, 1-1-0 foursomes, 1-0-1 singles)
Brooks Koepka has only played in two previous Ryder Cups – an American win in 2016 on home soil and a loss in 2018 just outside Paris. While that number may sound small, Koepka has made the most of his career - quite simply, has been a wrecking ball over the past four years on the biggest stages in the game. He’s won four major championships in four years – his first coming in the 2017 U.S. Open – and he’s now collected a staggering 16 top-10 finishes in only 30 majors played.
This year alone, Koepka’s contended in three of the four big events. He missed the cut at the Masters in April while dealing with a lingering knee injury as the terrain at Augusta National took its toll. But he rebounded with a T2 finish at the PGA Championship, a T4 at the U.S. Open and in July he added at T6 at The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.
Yet Koepka will tell you that he’s disappointed with that record over the past handful of years – including 2021 – because he feels like he let a few opportunities slide. It’ll be that same doggedness that’ll have him play a huge role for Captain Steve Stricker’s American squad.
What Brooks brings to the team
Swagger. Fan support. Determination. Mainstream eyeballs. The ability to show up in huge moments.
All of the above are traits will have the pro-American galleries screaming in Koepka’s favor. He’s turned into a huge personality on the PGA Tour over the past few years and his ability to speak what’s on his mind has endeared him to casual and mainstream sports fans alike. Add in his ability to hit great shots in huge moments and there isn’t anything to dislike about what Koepka will bring to Team USA.
Koepka’s previously been paired with Dustin Johnson on occasion, but that partnership may have run its course; if they did play together, it likely wouldn’t be more than in one match.
Koepka played with Brandt Snedeker often in the 2016 Ryder Cup, but he’ll have to find a replacement with Sneds out this Cup. Tony Finau and Daniel Berger would be two of the names likely to merit consideration: Koepka played twice with Finau in the 2018 Ryder Cup and was paired with Berger in the 2017 Presidents Cup at Liberty National.
His veteran status also affords him the opportunity to request pairings directly.
“The first one, you're a little bit shy and you don't want to say anything and kind of get off to the wrong start but now I'm definitely more comfortable with the guys, especially the captains and vice captains, because it's been pretty much the same guys for the last few years.
“I can definitely voice my opinion or who I think I should play with or strategy or things like that. It's definitely gotten a lot easier.”
There is going to be some new blood on this American team, so don’t be surprised to see Koepka play with someone that no one expected.
Koepka has a career winning record of 4-3-1 in the Ryder Cup. He’s an even 2-2-0 in four-ball and an even 1-1-0 in foursomes. He hasn’t lost a singles match yet, going 1-0-1.
Don’t put too much stock into these numbers. Winning is difficult, even for those who are used to winning. Anything above .500, especially while playing on the losing side in 2018, is a great record.
Koepka will be called on early and often this year at Whistling Straits and it’s a good bet that he leaves town after winning more than his fair share.