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Chase Koepka earns bragging rights over brother at Shriners Open

Updated October 4, 2019 - 7:58 pm

Brooks Koepka, the world’s top-ranked golfer, has the reputation of being calm, cool and collected — and some would say ruthless — on the course.

After rounds of 66 and 69 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin, his younger brother Chase was satisfied about showing similar attributes.

“The first thing that comes to mind is just how calming it was out there,” Chase Koepka said Friday. “I felt like I was in control of my emotions, and I was just really proud of myself.”

The younger Koepka, 25, made his first cut at a PGA Tour event when playing as an individual in only his fourth appearance on the tour. He’s tied for 34th at 7-under 135.

His brother will be watching this weekend. Brooks Koepka, 29, missed the cut after finishing at 1-under 141.

Possibly Chase Koepka’s only regret — other than the extra couple of chips he took in Friday’s round on the sixth hole to make double bogey — was missing an opportunity to rub it in to big brother after the first round when he beat him by five strokes.

“I didn’t get a chance to see him after the first round because he went off to a show, so that was probably good for him,” Chase Koepka said. “I would’ve probably talked his ear off at dinner, which I usually do.”

Younger brother now can let big brother hear about it, at least this weekend.

“I don’t think people realize in golf you can get beat any day, and he kicked my (expletive) the last two days, so props to him,” said Brooks Koepka, adding that he has been “living and dying by the leaderboard” while keeping tabs on his brother.

“He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing because obviously it’s working,” Brooks Koepka said. “It’s 36 more holes, and anything can happen … so go out there, enjoy it and try to earn some money and earn some status.”

The Koepkas partnered in the 2017 Zurich Classic at New Orleans and finished fifth. Chase Koepka now hopes for a similar individual finish at the Shriners and understands how important the next two days are.

“It’s tough,” Chase Koepka said of not thinking too far into the future. “I’ve just have to keep it one shot at a time. I’m really not going to change anything.”

Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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