Koepka has Major ambitions in Brussels

5/22/2013 4:19:00 PM
Brooks Koepka  (Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka (Getty Images)
After basking in the reflected glory of his close friend Peter Uihlein’s maiden European Tour victory last week, Brooks Koepka enters this week’s Telenet Trophy with Major ambitions in mind.

The two Americans have become close friends since both joining the European Challenge Tour last season and even share a house together.

Koepka greeted Uihlein with a warm hug after the latter’s two-shot victory at the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI at Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra last week, his first victory in just his 16th European Tour appearance.

It was a special moment for the two Floridians who made the brave decision to step out of their comfort zones and begin their professional careers in Europe, a choice both have since admitted is one of the best they have ever made.

While Uihlein has entered the winners’ enclave on the top tier, Koepka has two Challenge Tour titles under his belt and believes last week’s celebrations will inspire him to more victories.

“It was exciting to see Peter win,” said the 23 year old. “It almost felt like I won. I'm so happy for him, he’s been a good friend for a long time and I'm happy to see that everything he has done is starting to pay off.

“I knew it would, I knew before we both left to come over here that we were both going to have good seasons.

“I've known Peter since we were about 15, so we’ve been friends quite a while. It’s been fun and especially coming over together, we’ve gotten a lot closer and now we’re living together.

“It’s been a pretty good start for both of us and it’s good to watch your best friend succeed, and succeed myself too. Hopefully it will continue and we’ll both have good seasons.

“I'm looking forward to this week, my caddie walked the course and he says it’s a good track so hopefully there’s another win on the horizon.”

Koepka believes that he is now at a level where a first European Tour victory of his own is a possibility and he has big plans laid out for himself and Uihlein.

“When you play with these guys week-in, week-out, you can see that any one of them can tee it up in the Challenge Tour or The European Tour any given day and they have a chance to win,” he said.

“I think I'm right there with The European Tour guys in terms of standard. It’s just a process to get there. I’d like to get two more wins and make that step up but it’s a long season and you never know what’s going to happen.

“I enjoy it over here. I think it’s a lot of fun, learning how to travel and getting out of your comfort zone. In the States everything is in my comfort zone but getting out here and playing in different conditions, I think it makes you a much better player.

“I want to compete at Open Championships too, I think that’s a big thing. I don’t want to be just an American name, I want to be a worldwide name and you can do that when you come over here.

“I think coming over here will help us years down the road, even when we’re 40 and playing, we’ll learn from these experiences and take them on and hopefully win some Major Championships.”