Brooks Koepka is not entirely satisfied with his excellent major record this year because “finishing second sucks”.
The world number one has a phenomenal return in golf’s big four tournaments over the past few years, having won four and collected top fives in three others dating back to the 2016 US PGA Championship.
In 2019 alone, Koepka has recorded a pair of second-place finishes either side of defending the PGA title he also clinched last year.
But Koepka is only interested in wins, having come up just short of a maiden Masters triumph in April.
“I hold myself to high expectations. The whole reason I show up is to win. That’s what I’m trying to do,” he said ahead of the 148th Open Championship.
“It’s incredible but at the same time it’s been quite disappointing. Finishing second sucks, it really does.
“But you’ve just got to get over it and kind of realise that any time you put yourself in contention, you learn from it and move on.
“I made a mistake there at 12 at Augusta. It really wasn’t that big of a mistake, the wind direction, for four out of six guys to put the ball in the water, everybody knows that the wind does whatever it wants on that hole and you just get unlucky.
“And then at the U.S. Open I just got flat-out beat. Sometimes that’s going to happen. You’ve just got to get over it and move on.”
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 16, 2019
Koepka has spoken in the past of playing with a chip on his shoulder, believing his achievements have not drawn the recognition they deserve.
The 29-year-old says it is an approach he will always take, but he is no longer interested if the acclaim does not come his away.
“I think you always have to have a chip on your shoulder, no matter what it is. Every great athlete has one,” he added.
“Like I said, over the last year and a half, I just felt like if other guys had done what I had done it would be a bigger deal. Now it doesn’t matter to me. I’ve got my own chip on my shoulder for what I’m trying to accomplish.
“I’m over that. I’m over trying to get the recognition. You either like me or you don’t, that’s life in general. That’s not anything I’m too concerned about at this moment.”
This week will be a particularly special one for Koepka, whose caddie Rickie Elliot hails from Portrush, where The Open is being held for the first time since 1951.
Asked if there was a part of him playing for Elliot this week, Koepka replied: “Yes, absolutely.
“There would be nothing cooler. Put it this way, I don’t think when he grew up that he ever thought there would be an Open Championship here.
“And to top it off, I don’t think he ever thought he’d be a part of it. And to be caddying and to be able to win one here would be – he’d be a legend, wouldn’t he? He already is. But it would be cool to see him win.”