Brooks Koepka is not exactly short of motivation as he aims to complete a rare hat-trick of US Open victories and claim a fifth major title in just nine appearances.

But the world No.1 has a fresh chip on his shoulder at Pebble Beach after a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in a television advert promoting the season’s third major championship.

A trailer for the American host broadcaster Fox features images from Jack Nicklaus’s victory at Pebble Beach in 1972, Tom Watson’s 10 years later and a shot from Tiger Woods in 2010, the year he finished fourth behind Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson are also pictured, while Koepka is seen briefly at the end of the 30-second clip and is not mentioned by name.

Asked where the chip on his ­shoulder comes from, Koepka said: “I think a very little bit of it was me putting it on there.

“But I think a lot of it just comes from certain things. There’s a commercial running now where I’m not even in it and FOX put it up for a preview of the US Open.

“I wasn’t on the list of notables (on day one of the 2018 US Open) after winning it the year before. There’s a couple of things where it’s just mind boggling.

“A bunch of people on Twitter tagged me in it and I guess were amazed that I wasn’t in it. I was just kind of shocked.”


Koepka has also had a well-­publicised spat with Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee after the former player labelled Koepka’s weight-loss earlier this year as the “most reckless self-sabotage I have ever seen of an athlete in his prime”.

And the 29-year-old pointedly left out Chamblee’s name when admitting he does watch the Golf Channel after tournament rounds “to see what Frank (Nobilo) and David (Duval) and Rich (Lerner) are talking about”.

But it is an approach that has achieved incredible results, with Koepka winning the US Open in 2017 and 2018 and also claiming back-to-back US PGA titles in the past two seasons.

“It would be the coolest thing ever to win three US Opens in a row with the third one at Pebble,” said Koepka, who would be only the second player after Scotland’s Willie Anderson (1903-05) to achieve the feat.

“As a kid you always wanted to win a US Open at Pebble. It’s kind of a dream come true, in a sense. And to even be thought of or to think of winning a major championship here would be incredible.

“You look at the guys that have won here and they are some of the greatest players to have played the game.”


Infographic courtesy of

The US Open has been beset by problems in recent years and the USGA admitted they went “too far” with the set-up of Shinnecock Hills last year after only three players broke par in a third round during which Phil Mickelson was penalised two shots for hitting a moving ball as it rolled off the 13th green.

However, no-one will hear Koepka complaining about the conditions, despite the thick rough and narrow fairways which typify the US Open.

“Everybody has got to play the same golf course so it really doesn’t make a difference,” Koepka added.

“If they’re complaining they’re not playing good enough.

“I’ve just been never one to complain, make excuses. It doesn’t matter. Nobody wants to hear anybody’s excuse. I find it annoying even when I play with guys and they’re dropping clubs or throwing them or complaining, like telling me how bad the golf course is or how bad this is.

“I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care. If you play good enough, you shouldn’t have a problem.”

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Jordan Spieth, looking to challenge for the Pebble Beach title this year, supports Koepka’s view and insists the US OPen has produced worthy winners despite controversy.

In 2015, the greens at Chambers Bay – where Spieth won – were likened to “putting on broccoli” by Henrik Stenson, and Gary Player felt the course was designed by “a man who had to have one leg shorter than the other”.

And in 2016 it was the bizarre rules decision that left eventual winner Dustin Johnson, other players, officials and spectators unsure of his score with just seven holes to play.

“I think recent history was just kind of a bit unlucky,” Spieth said. “You had a rules thing and some greens that ended up not the way that they were supposed to be going in.

“I don’t know necessarily if all the blame for all that goes to one place or a number of places, or there shouldn’t be any blame in general.

“If we’re going to look at 2015, I was playing the best going in and so were Dustin and Jason Day, and look at the leaderboard on Sunday. Maybe it wasn’t ideal conditions, but it didn’t separate who was playing the best that week.

“I think big picture you still had the right champions every single time. And that’s what you want to do in majors – you want to separate who is playing the best from who’s not.

“And I don’t see how that’s not had the right result in any of the previous years, even though certainly everything could have gone 100 per cent perfectly and it didn’t, necessarily.

“But I think we’re set up in the upcoming years to go places.”