Brooks Koepka won the US Open in 2017. And the 2018. He won the PGA of the last course. And this one. Brooks Koepka, who is 29 years old, has won four of the last eight Grand Slam tournaments he has played, converted into Mr. major, the lord of the great. Koepka is the man that everyone looks at the 119th edition of the US Open that starts this Thursday in Pebble Beach (California). And in the search for a unique record: no one in modern golf has linked three wins in a row in this championship, and to find something similar you have to go back to the prehistory of golf, when Scottish Willie Anderson won in 1903, 1904 and 1905. The antecedents in other great ones also speak of an almost impossible feat in today's hypercompetitive game.
And yet, Koepka does not appear in the promotional video that FOX has made of the tournament, owner of television rights. And of course, he has gotten pissed. "I did not believe. I saw the video to check it and I was in shock. Do you really forget that with a year to do it you can forget about the one who has won the last two years? I do not get it. This should end with the dismissal of someone, "released the current world number one, throne that puts Dustin Johnson at stake as the only one with options to take it away.
Who do not forget even remotely in Pebble Beach is Tiger Woods. His exhibition in this field in the year 2000 still resonates as one of the greatest demonstrations of superiority ever seen. Tiger caught his third big with 12 shots under par, 15! of advantage over Ernie Els and Miguel Ángel Jiménez (+3), the highest income of a Grand Slam winner in all of history, surpassing last century's record. "I still remember most of the punches I gave this week," recalls Tiger, who was reborn at the age of 43 in the past Masters of Augusta, his 16th major, and two of Jack Nicklaus. That is the other battle for history that welcomes these days the US Open. Although Tiger looks long term. "If I improve physically as in the last two years, let's say I can play 10 more years. That's 40 big. Many. If I am physically well, and with the help of coaches and physios, and good training, I can make it happen. "
Jon Rahm was five years old when Tiger dressed as an extraterrestrial in 2000 in which he was the first of four big in a row. Today, with 24, the Basque has gone from seeing as an admirer the video summary of the Machado del Tigre to share a poster with him. In California, he also feels at home because the weather and the fields remind him of those in which he was forged as a player in the Basque Country. In this state of the west coast of the USA is where he has achieved his two victories in the American circuit (Farmers Insurance and Carreer Builder), and also feels more comfortable in these greens of poa, a grass faster than bermuda. The US Open, despite everything, is a trap ground: narrow streets and rough that penalizes a bad exit from the tee. As in the past PGA. Land Koepka.
Rahm trained on Tuesday with Phil Mickelson, who is chasing the curse of the US Open. He has been six times second in this big, the only one he needs to complete the Grand Slam after three victories in the Masters, a British Open and a PGA. If he succeeded, he would double bingo by becoming the oldest winner of a large (curiously this Sunday he turns 49).
Another outstanding account has Sergio Garcia (Rafa Cabrera Bello and Adri Arnaus complete with Rahm the Spanish quartet in Pebble Beach) after not passing the cut in the last seven big, since the British Open 2017.
Some will fight for glory in this US Open, others for survival.
Matches of the first day (nine hours more in Spain).
TV: Movistar Golf Thursday 13 and Friday 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (prior from 8:30 p.m.). Saturday 15 and Sunday 16, from 8.30pm to 04.00 (prior from 8pm).
Willie Anderson has been the only golfer to have won three consecutive editions of the US Open, in 1903, 1904 and 1905, landmark to which Brooks Koepka now aspires.
At British Open, the Scottish Tom Morris added four consecutive victories, between 1867 and 1870, and his compatriotras Jamie Anderson and Bob Ferguson obtained three each one between 1877 and 1879, and between 1880 and 1882, respectively. The Australian Peter Thompson linked three others between 1954 and 1956.
At PGA Championship, Walter Hagen was the owner and lord in four consecutive editions, between 1924 and 1927.
Nobody has achieved more than two consecutive victories in the Masters of Augusta.
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