Lerner: Koepka Reminds Me Of Kawhi

Brooks Koepka is stoic, measured and all business, Rich Lerner says – and business is booming

Taz and the Moose
August 07, 2019 - 10:12 am
Brooks Koepka

USA Today Images


Golf Channel analyst Rich Lerner dropped by CBS Sports Radio to preview the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which begin Thursday at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“I think it will be exciting,” Lerner said on Taz & The Moose. “All the best players are playing. And by the way, when I say all the best players, there’s no doubt now who the best player is, and that’s Brooks Koepka. He knows it, and they know it.”

That’s right. Koepka. The guy with four major championships since 2017. He also finished runner-up at the Masters and fourth at the Open Championship this season.

Might fellow golfers try to emulate Koepka’s stye and approach on the course?

“You’d like to be that big and that strong and that mentally tough,” Lerner said. “Everybody is after that. Everybody wants to copy that model. He’s a rare great athlete, and I think you have to concede at this point – given what he’s done in the last two years – he’s one of the best athletes currently in any sport anywhere in the world. What he’s done is prolific. This is a two-and-a-half-year run, and he has left no doubt that this is not the McIlroy era or the Dustin Johnson era or the Jordan Spieth era. This is the Brooks Koepka era.”

As for a Koepka comparison, you won’t find one in golf.

“He reminds me of Kawhi Leonard,” Lerner said. “He’s very stoic on the golf course, the fist pumps are measured, the outward displays of emotion are rare, he’s all business – and business is booming. He speaks loudly with his performance.”

Lerner, in fact, recently saw Koepka work out. Let’s just say the routine wasn’t limited to light cardio.

“He is an animal,” Lerner said. “I don’t know how baseball players are training; I haven’t really seen football players train. But he was full-on.”

Koepka, in fact, worked out before the final round of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. A friend challenged Koepka to bench 225 pounds 15 times. Kopeka obliged. He got through the first 14 reps before needing help on the 15h.

“I said, ‘Are you crazy? Aren’t you concerned you’re going to get hurt or you’ll be tired?’” Lerner recalled. “He just sort of shrugged and he said, ‘Look, man, I’m just playing golf for five hours. It’s not that big of a deal.’”

Koepka went on to win the U.S. Open.

“He is a beast,” Lerner said. “He has a clear mind. He has a repeatable, reliable golf swing, and he likes the heat. As is the case with any clutch athlete, great athlete, they like the moment. He’s conscious of who he is and what he wants to be.”

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