US PGA champ Brooks Koepka driven by 'haters'

Brooks Koepka

Bullish Brooks Koepka said he 'doesn't care what anybody else says' other than his close family and friends after making it three major titles in his last six major starts at the US PGA Championship.

The 28-year-old saw off the challenge of Tiger Woods and Adam Scott at Bellerive to post a 16-under-par total and win by two shots, bringing him level on major titles with Jordan Spieth and more than the likes of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Sergio Garcia.

A gripe Koepka has held since winning the first of those three major titles at the 2017 US Open is that he feels he is 'always overlooked', something he revealed spurs him on in his quest for greatness.

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"You're always going to have fans, and you're always going to have people that hate you," said Koepka after hoisting aloft the Wanamaker Trophy.

"The people around me, they know who I am, and that's really all I care about. I like to reach out to the fans, you know, have support. I think that's always great to have the support of fans and as many people as you can behind you, and I try to do that.

Brooks Koepka1

"I try to acknowledge all the fans as much as I can. But there's always going to be people that hate you, but you've just got to move on with it and use that as motivation."

Koepka started the day with a two-shot lead but was level with Scott as late on as the 15th hole. The American made birdie there to get to 15-under-par and then produced what he called the best shot under pressure of his career - a laser-like 240-yard 4-iron on the 16th hole that finished six feet from the pin - to make back-to-back birdies and regain that two-shot advantage.

"When I look at what I've done in the past two months, it's incredible," added Koepka, who was sidelined for the first four months of 2018 with a wrist injury. "Looking where I was, sitting on my couch watching the Masters, and to
think I would do this, I would have laughed at you and told you there was no way, no chance.

"My doctors, physios, trainers, everybody did an unbelievable job even to get back out on the golf course, and to do what I've done is very impressive. I can't even believe it."

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Woods was also in disbelief how far he'd come in the space of 12 months. This time last year, he'd only just been cleared by doctors to start chipping. At Bellerive, he was reflecting on a runner-up finish at a major championship.

"I didn't know how many tournaments I would play this year or if I would even play," said the 14-time major champ.

"So at the beginning of the year, if you were to say I had a legit chance to win the last two major championships... with what swing? I didn't have a swing at the time. I had no speed. I didn't have a golf swing. I didn't have - my short game wasn't quite there yet. My putting was okay. But God, I hadn't played in two years. So it's been a hell of a process for sure."

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