Brooks Koepka: I've never been this confident

Brooks Koepka 2019 Pga Rd1

Just as it was at Augusta last month, Brooks Koepka’s name is at the top of the leaderboard after day one of the US PGA Championship. 

The defending champion tamed the Black Course at Bethpage with a new course record 63 and leads by one shot from New Zealand’s Danny Lee going into the second round. 

Afterwards, the 28-year-old American – bidding to win a fourth major in his last eight starts – described it as “one of the best rounds I’ve played as a professional”. 

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“This is golf course is brutal,” said Koepka. “It tests every asset of your game. You've got to drive the ball straight. It's long, so you've got to hit it far and really position yourself with some of these shots in. You can't take a shot off, and that's what I love. 

“If you don't have a good day, you can very easily shoot five or six-over. There's a fine line between that and a couple under out here. It's a fun golf course to play, that's for sure.”

Koepka, who had eight drives of over 300 yards in this first and bettered the field average by almost seven strokes, is a combined 47-under-par in his last five US PGA appearances. 

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If he can maintain his lead through to Sunday, will become only the second player in the strokeplay era of the championship to successfully defend the Wanamaker Trophy. He would also hold become the first player to hold back-to-back titles at both the US Open and US PGA. 

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Little wonder he’s feeling good about life just now.

“I’ve never been this confident,” he added. “I'm still learning, understanding my game and I'm excited for what's to come over the next few years.”

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