Editor’s note: This story originally ran last August after Brooks Koepka’s win at the 2018 US PGA Championship. After successfully defending his title at Bethpage Black yesterday to earn his fourth Major victory in his past eight starts, Koepka continues to carve out a hall-of-fame career. And Steve Williams continues to look even wiser.
You may have predicted a big week for Brooks Koepka at Bellerive Country Club. Heck, you may have even picked him to win the 100th PGA Championship. But you’d also still have nothing on Steve Williams.
A “My Shot” interview with Tiger Woods’ ex-caddie appeared in the June 2015 issue of Australian Golf Digest, and as our Mike O’Malley pointed out on Monday, Williams gave quite a presicent statement when discussing the budding tour player. We say player and not star, because at the time, Koepka had just one PGA Tour title (in addition to several worldwide wins as a pro) and was ranked outside the top 20. Williams, however, saw Hall-of-Fame potential in the powerful golfer.
You should read the entire interview with Williams, who had moved on to looping for Adam Scott by then, but here’s the money quote:
“ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE, a player comes along who hits a golf ball the way it was meant to be hit. Powerful, piercing, the perfect trajectory. Of the young players out there, one I’ve seen has that special ball flight: Brooks Koepka. Adam and I were paired with him at the Open Championship last year, and from his first tee shot on, I thought, This kid is special. Obviously he’s searching to find the other parts of the puzzle, but I haven’t seen a ball flight like that since Tiger, and before that, Johnny Miller.”
Tiger. Johnny. Brooks. That’s some high praise right there.
A little more than three years later, Koepka has three Major titles to his resume and is up to No.2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. And with each big trophy that he hoists, Stevie is looking smarter and smarter.