PONTE VEDRA BEACH – Brooks Koepka was named PGA Tour Player of the Year after successfully defending his U.S. Open title in June and then claiming the PGA Championship in August.
Koepka and Jack Nicklaus
“It’s a cool trophy to have,” Koepka said of the Jack Nicklaus Trophy in an interview with Dan Patrick. “Anytime you can get something with Jack Nicklaus’ name on it is pretty cool.”
After being sidelined early in the 2018-19 season with a wrist injury, Koepka became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to take both majors in the same season and fourth in PGA history.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, our congratulations to Brooks Koepka on being voted PGA TOUR Player of the Year by his peers,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan via statement. “Brooks has brought a new brand of athleticism to the PGA TOUR, and we saw the results this year with his historic season at the major championships and a top-10 finish in the FedExCup. These feats were accomplished despite missing significant time due to injury, a testament to his work ethic and perseverance throughout the season.”
Any PGA Tour member who played in 15 FedEx Cup events was eligible to vote for the honor, with the other finalists being Dustin Johnson, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau.
Koepka said Tuesday he did not vote — “too lazy” — but would have voted for “Bryson, or maybe Dustin,” he told Patrick.
Koepka cleared the air with Patrick regarding the alleged fight with his good friend Johnson. Reports surfaced after the Ryder Cup that Koepka and Johnson nearly came to blows at a party in the European team’s room in France.
“I have no idea — we went in there to go congratulate the Europeans and say ‘Hey,'” Koepka said. “I don’t know how this started. I was texting him before this even came out. … I saw him this morning. The 20 people who were here can vouch for me, nothing happened. … It was far from the truth.”
Johnson and Koepka filmed a brief joint video discussing who deserved the Nicklaus trophy, distributed via Twitter by the PGA Tour.
Koepka joked that it could be a “good fight” if he and DJ did duke it out.
“Maybe not as good as the McGregor fight, or the fight after the fight,” Koepka said jokingly.
Johnson offered congratulations to Koepka via Twitter on Tuesday morning, calling the award “well deserved.”
Koepka finished ninth in the FedEx Cup standings. Beyond two major victories, he took second place at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and Charles Schwab Challenge and had four other top-10 finishes.
–Field Level Media