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Seeking US Open three-peat, Koepka finds more motivation in perceived slight by Fox TV

Tod Leonard, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Golf

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- It would seem the quarry would be bare of rock chips for Brooks Koepka to place on his broad shoulders.

Incredibly, after four major golf victories in fewer than two years, Koepka keeps finding more. It helps that he's got thousands of social media miners to help him.

On Tuesday at Pebble Beach, where Koepka will try to win a third straight U.S. Open beginning Thursday, the 28-year-old was asked in a news conference where the chips on his shoulder come from.

Koepka, who captured last month's PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, admitted some of his resentment is self-created, but he also noted there was a video produced by Fox Sports to pump this U.S. Open, and that, as the two-time defending champion, he was not part of it.

There are actually four promos produced by Fox, and Koepka is in three of them. But Koepka and his supporters chose the lone omission to latch onto.

"There's a couple of things where it's just mind boggling," Koepka said. "It's, like, really? Like, how do you forget that?"

 

Later, Koepka said, "I didn't actually see (the promo) for a long time. A bunch of people on Twitter I think tagged me in it, and I guess were amazed that I wasn't in it. I just clicked on the link and saw it and watched it. Just kind of shocked. They've had over a year to kind of put it out. So I don't know. Somebody probably got fired over it or should."

Koepka was laughing for that last line, but he clearly will use it for motivation again in trying to become only the second player in U.S. Open history to win the tournament three straight years. When Koepka seized last year's Open at Shinnecock Hills, he joined Curtis Strange (1988-89) as the only back-to-back winners since Ben Hogan (1950-51).

Scotsman Willie Anderson captured his three straight U.S. Opens from 1903 through '05 in an era when the fields numbered fewer than 100 players.

Koepka said that on a trip to Scotland he believes he saw the home of Anderson, who died at the age of 31 from epilepsy. "I don't know much about him," he said. "Obviously, that was a long, long time ago."

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