AVONDALE, La. – Even without world-ranking points, this week’s Zurich Classic has the potential to be a life-changing week for a few of the participants. None more so than Chase Koepka, the 23-year-old brother of Brooks, who is making his first PGA Tour start here at TPC Louisiana.
Tournament officials will dole out a full purse and FedEx Cup allotment for both participants. That could be significant for a player like Chase, who has status this season on the European Challenge Tour but could, with a high finish, earn enough points to move into position for the season-ending Web.com Tour Finals.
“I’m not thinking about it,” Brooks said. “I know if I do what I’m supposed to do and he does what he’s supposed to do, it should be fine. Yeah, there’s quite a bit at stake, but it doesn’t make me any more nervous. The worst thing you can do is try too hard and put too much pressure on yourself – that’s where you can really start making mistakes.”
The Koepka brothers went out in 1 over but came alive on the inward nine, shooting 32 to post a 3-under 69, putting them three shots off the early lead.
Interestingly, it was Chase who played first off the 10th tee, despite his early jitters. Brooks wanted to hit the odd-numbered tee shots because of the longer par 3s.
“I’m not surprised at what we shot,” Brooks said. “I don’t know if people thought I was just bringing some random dude that I grew up with from the club, but he’s a really good player. To be in the position we’re in, I’m not surprised.”