After playing both tours and logging more than 53,000 air miles this year, Brooks Koepka now has the power to pick his own schedule.
The 24-year-old American’s one-shot victory Sunday at the Turkish Airlines Open will move him into the top 35 in the world rankings and allow him to play in all of the 2015 majors and World Golf Championships events.
“It means so much,” he said. “It’s nice to work all the way up from the Challenge Tour, and to win on the European Tour is special. I’ve been waiting for this win for a while now, and it’s nice to have it here.”
Koepka won four times on the Challenge Tour – Europe’s equivalent of the Web.com circuit – but needed a final-round 65 in Turkey to secure the biggest victory of his career. His 17-under 271 was good for a one-shot victory over Ian Poulter (67), who missed a 6-foot birdie putt on 18 that would have forced a playoff.
With the victory, Koepka earned $1.7 million and will rocket into the top 50 in the world; he entered this week at No. 61.
“I feel like when I’m playing my best I can compete with anybody,” he said, “and this week I played pretty well.”
Instead of trying to earn his card via the Q-School or Web.com Tour route, the former Florida State All-American went to Europe to see the world, learn how to win and move into the top 50 in the rankings.
This year alone he visited three continents and 11 countries. He made 16 starts on the PGA Tour, finishing in the top 10 twice (including a T-4 at the U.S. Open) and clearing more than $1 million in earnings to earn his card for the 2014-15 season.
“You’ve just gotta build on it,” he said. “Anytime you win you’re playing well; you’ve just gotta carry it over into the next season. I’d like to get a couple (more) wins, maybe one or two. A major would be nice, too.”