Did you know that Brooks Koepka was a tournament winner up in Aviemore a few years ago? Why, of course you did.

And how did you know he had won in Aviemore? Yes, that’s right. Because every time Koepka wins somewhere else in the world, the Scottish golf writers still bang on about his win in Aviemore and drop in so many Aviemore-related references you’d think we were getting a back hander from the Cairngorms National Park Authority plus a couple of free meals at the Winking Owl. Did we mention that Koepka had won in AVIEMORE? We did? Sorry.

In the wake of his fourth major championship victory in the US PGA Championship on Sunday night, however, it’s hard not to cast the mind back to 2013 when Koepka, who was already on the kind of hurtling upward trajectory that could’ve got him a sponsorship deal with Nasa, made a telling statement of intent after a rampaging victory in the Scottish Hydro Challenge at Spey Valley.


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Even in those formative professional years, Koepka had a nonchalant yet convincing air of authority. “This is just the beginning, and I know that may sound cocky, but I have high expectations of myself,” he said.

Here in 2019, Koepka continues to back up his own confident declarations and is the standard the rest on the global stage must attempt to match. The battle to win majors is being won.

The battle to win the hearts and minds of a fickle golfing public and media in his native land is more of a prolonged struggle even though he looks every bit the American superstar with his manly prowess, biceps that look like something out of Monument Valley and vast acreage of gleaming tooth enamel.

When he won the US Open last year, Koepka reflected on the doubters and naysayers from throughout his developing years and said: “I can think of plenty of people along the way telling me I’ll be nothing, working at McDonald’s.”

Forget a chip on the shoulder, Koepka has large fries and a Big Mac on it. It’s not surprising that the 29-year-old remains as stoic as a maritime memorial and as stubborn as an ersit cuddy.

Often overlooked, regularly under-hyped and still somewhat unheralded, Koepka’s emergence as a golfer of genuine historical significance continues to be treated strangely.

His talents are acknowledged and admired. But revered? It doesn’t feel that way. Not yet anyway. But, then, with a shimmering recent record in the majors – four wins in the last eight stagings of a grand slam event – Koepka can easily cope with this lingering sense of shrugging indifference.

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Achievement is the only thing that matters, after all. And Koepka is certainly an achiever.

The partisan – some may say pig ignorant – New York galleries which bellowed and bawled for Dustin Johnson as things got a bit twitchy on the run-in on Sunday showed where the support was. But then, Koepka has always been something of an outsider.

This is a man, after all, who shunned the cosy home comforts and travelled across the Atlantic to learn his trade on the European Challenge Tour.

Those rich and varied ventures, whether it was a golfing safari in Kenya or the wilds of the A9 en route to Aviemore (yes, we’ve mentioned it again), have helped foster a sturdy, single-minded, defiant competitor.

Given his colourful golfing background where variety was very much the spice of his sporting life, the suggestion in many quarters that Koepka is as dull as an audit in a drawing pin factory is all rather mystifying.

Golf is his profession but it’s not necessarily his all-consuming passion. While others let the guard down, wear the heart on the sleeve and often display the kind of flapping histrionics that resemble Icarus trying to salvage his plummeting situation, Koepka has a reserve which many may mistake for an aloofness.

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In the growing tumult of Sunday’s final round, which had the added distraction of his playing partner Harold Varner going here, there and everywhere in a ruinous 81, that character allowed him to remain largely composed and impassive. Amid the hullabaloo of the boorish cackles at Bethpage, meanwhile, Koepka retained an admirable dignity.

In this age of hark at me celebrity, when style is often favoured over substance and chutzpah is preferred to class, Koepka refuses to play the game and marches defiantly to the beat of his own drum. Good on him.

Of course, no sooner had he been presented with the Wanamaker Trophy the usual comparisons were being trotted out.

“Is he the next Tiger?” asked the former US Open champion, Graeme McDowell. He wasn’t the only one posing that particular question.

In this game, we are never done with anointments and coronations as we seek a new golfing hero for the ages. Rory McIlroy, for instance, was tagged with that burdensome “the next Tiger” label when he won a quartet of major championships by the age of 25. Jordan Spieth also had the sticker slapped on his back when he claimed two at 21.

They are both wheezing on behind Koepka now as he continues to find a level of performance in the majors which, dare we say it, is Tiger-esque.

The magnitude of Woods’ accomplishments, of course, continues to dwarf all that the new generation have achieved but it’s important to enjoy the present and savour watching the likes of Koepka writing their own success stories instead of obsessing about them re-writing Tiger’s tale.

In these demanding times, though, it seems for all they win, it’s never going to be enough for some.