There were no world-ranking points at stake, but three of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking were in the field. And just to remind everyone that he did win two majors and Player of the Year honors in 2018, Brooks Koepka brought down the curtain on his monster season with a victory in the Floridian Cup on Dec. 9 at Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, Fla.
Playing the pro-member event with club president Giles Kibbe as his partner, Koepka earned bragging rights over close friends Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler and a field that also included major-championship winners Nick Price, Mark O’Meara, Jeff Sluman and Steve Elkington.
Finishing one stroke back was the host, Houston Astros president Jim Crane, who was paired with 2016 PGA champion Jimmy Walker. Fowler played with swing instructor Butch Harmon and finished T-5 along with Johnson and his brother Austin.
“It was nice for us to finally have all four of them (Koepka, Johnson, Fowler and Walker) play; it’s the first time all four of our guys played in it,” said instructor Claude Harmon III, who is based on property at his father’s learning center.
As for Koepka, Harmon described him in a “chill, kind-of-take-it-easy mode” as it relates to his golf leading up to his season debut at the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Jan. 3, where D.J. defends his title.
But in the gym it’s another story, with Koepka going nonstop at Joey Diovisalvi’s workout facility in Jupiter. “He’s just getting after it,” Harmon said. “He is so motivated to keep this No. 1 thing, so upset with himself by his finish in Japan.”
Harmon was referring to Koepka’s 12th-place finish as defending champion at the Dunlop Phoenix on Nov. 18. That temporarily dropped him to No. 2 behind Justin Rose, who has traveled to Jakarta to defend his title in the Indonesian Masters in hopes of regaining the No. 1 ranking going into the new year.