Honma Hong Kong Open

Basketball, baseball … anything but golf up for discussion between the Koepka brothers this Christmas

It’s been a big year on the course for the pair, with Brooks winning the US Open and Chase earning his European Tour card

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 November, 2017, 3:44pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 November, 2017, 11:44am

It’s been a big year for brothers Brooks and Chase Koepka but when they finally get to catch up over Christmas, golf will be the last thing on the agenda.

While 27-year-old Brooks won his first major at this year’s US Open, younger brother Chase recently secured his European Tour card for 2018.

And the 23-year-old hasn’t wasted any time getting stuck in, delivering a solid one-over-par 71 in the opening round at the UBS Hong Kong Open on Thursday.

“I have only seen Brooks once since we played together at the Zurich Classic back in April,” Chase said. “I think he is playing in Tiger’s event [the Hero World Challenge] next week so once he has done that he will have a little bit of a break and so will I. It will be nice to catch up and celebrate our good years.

“We try not to talk about golf too much because we’re doing it all the time. We try to take a break from it, just relax and talk about other stuff. Basketball, baseball, anything other than golf usually.”

That even extends to each other’s games, with Brooks preferring to let Chase go about his business.

“He lets me do my own thing, which is nice,” Chase said. “He’s been playing tremendous golf and obviously I look up to him and what he’s doing. I try not to compare myself too much to him but it’s nice seeing him play well and it fuels me to keep it going myself.”

Chase’s decision to head to the European Challenge Tour mirrored that of his brother and he has already learned plenty on his first season on the road.

The Challenge Tour took him to China, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates in recent times and he is looking forward to seeing more of the world.

“I think coming over here makes me a little bit more of a well-rounded player, it has done a tremendous amount for my brother’s game and I think it is doing a lot for my game as well,” he said.

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“Obviously the culture is way different, you have just got to accept that. The food is different too, but you can always find an American place no matter where you are. It’s fun, you have got to make the most of it.

“I’m only 23 and I’m travelling the world filling up my passport, there’s not too much I can complain about.”

There wasn’t too much to complain about for Koepka for much of his first round at Fanling, however, a double bogey on the last hole put a dampener on things.

He had earlier countered three bogeys with four birdies to be one under after 17, but two poor chip shots on 18 soured the day.

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“It was just a bit sloppy, I put myself in some good spots but it was just kind of a blah round,” he said. “I was expecting a little bit more but that’s golf. If I get a good round going on here I can shoot a low one, the course suits my eye a little bit.

“I have just got to chip the ball a little bit better. I just didn’t quite chip it close enough today to feel comfortable over some putts, I was just grinding from 10 feet all day for par, it felt like.”