Sobel: Koepka Dominant, But He Isn't Tiger

Brooks Koepka might be the best golfer in the game, but he hasn't reached Tiger-in-his-prime status just yet, Jason Sobel says

Taz and the Moose
May 20, 2019 - 9:34 am
Brooks Koepka PGA Championship

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Brooks Koepka dominated the field at Bethpage Black this past weekend – shooting an 8-under-272 – to win his second straight PGA Championship. Koepka, who also won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2017-18, has now won four majors in three seasons.

Yet, it seems he isn’t as popular as some of his peers. Why isn’t Koepka a fan favorite?

“I feel like he’s not emotional enough on the golf course, but I hate when guys try to display fake emotion,” Jason Sobel said on Taz & The Moose. “You don’t want to see a guy acting a certain way on a golf course because he’s trying to draw fans. I want to see a guy being himself when he’s playing golf. He’s not that emotional out there – until he got to 18 and made that putt. That was the biggest fist pump we’ve ever seen from him.”

Koepka, 29, has won – or been in the mix – for seemingly every major since 2017. He finished sixth at the Open Championship in 2017 and runner-up at the Masters in April.

His style, though, is different than that of, say, Tiger Woods.

“When Tiger was at his peak, golf looked impossible,” Sobel said. “It looked like the hardest thing in the world. You’re like ‘I could never do that. That looks impossible.’ Whereas Brooks Koepka mashes the ball down the fairway, hits a wedge onto the green, makes a putt and you’re like, ‘Why doesn’t everyone else do that? It doesn’t look that hard.’”

While Koepka is arguably the best player in the game, he hasn’t reached Tiger-in-his-prime level just yet.

“I can’t go there,” Sobel said. “I just can’t. I still have trouble calling Tiger the greatest of all time because they measure themselves by major championships, and he’s No. 2. You can debate that as long as you want, but Tiger was by far the most dominant player of all time. That’s not close. That’s not even a debate. So to take the most dominant player of all time over a 12-year stretch and say, ‘This guy’s won four majors in the last three years’ – it’s just not there. But it’s really good golf. It’s the type of golf that reminds us of Tiger.”

Woods, Sobel said, intimidated the competition – not physically, but with his ability to come through in the clutch and not collapse under the pressure of the moment.

“Koepka is the exact same way,” Sobel said. “It looks like he goes out there and he’s playing a Tuesday practice round. He’s a machine. I think to other players, that’s intimidating.”

Click below to listen to Sobel’s interview in its entirety.