The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 26, 2013

Koepka gets major upgrade in Europe

NORMAN — Brooks Koepka played six straight weeks in six countries, knowing only that he would be flying home to Florida on Tuesday for a break he desperately needed.

He just didn’t realize how much different the road map would be when he gets back to work.

Koepka is another young American who’s taking the European route, and the payoff was measured in more than euros. The 23-year-old from Florida State won a Challenge Tour event in Scotland on Sunday, his third win of the season that gave him an instant promotion to the European Tour.

Still running on fumes, he took an early morning flight Monday from Scotland to London, drove straight to Sunningdale Golf Club and shot rounds of 69-65 for the low score among nine players who qualified for the British Open at Muirfield.

“Scotland was awesome. There was a lot of motivation there to get that third win before I headed back to the States,” Koepka said Monday night. “And then the qualifier, I honestly don’t know how I did it. I was running on two or three hours of sleep. I was thoroughly exhausted. Adrenaline or something took over. But as soon as I got off the golf course, I was done.”

Instead of returning to a Challenge Tour event in Switzerland or Italy, he will play alongside Phil Mickelson and a host of other stars at Castle Stuart for the Scottish Open, his first event as a full European Tour member. Then, he will drive south to Muirfield for his second major championship.

One item on the agenda while he’s home is to sit down with agent Blake Smith at Hambric Sports and figure out a schedule the rest of the year.

“Just getting on the European Tour is big in itself,” Koepka said. “I get to play with some of the best players in the world, and it will be nice to have some feedback with Peter, who’s someone I really enjoy being around.”

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