Brooks Koepka has come a long way since he started his professional golf career. After turning pro shortly after the 2012 U.S. Open, the Wellington native and Palm Beach Gardens resident packed his bags and headed overseas to play on the European Challenge Tour (the European Tour’s equivalence to the Web.com Tour). He adapted to playing overseas quickly, winning three times in two years on the Challenge Tour before being promoted to the European Tour.
In 2014, Koepka has set his sights on trying to earn his card on the premier tour back in his home country, the PGA Tour. Playing off sponsor’s exemptions for most of the year, Koepka has had some success finishing in a tie for third in the Frys.com Open and a tie for 33rd at the Honda Classic at PGA National. In total, Koepka has played in 9 PGA Tour events this season, recording one top 10, three top 25’s, and six made cuts. It was the 9th event this past weekend that helped him make his biggest stride towards the goal of earning his PGA Tour card.
Out of sponsor’s exemptions, the 23 year old Florida State graduate Monday Qualified for this past weekend’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans my shooting a 64 at the Qualifying event and earning Medalist Honors. Koepka went out and shot a four day total of nine under par, including a Saturday 67, to finish in a tie for 21st. Having used all his sponsor’s exemptions for the year, Koepka needed to earn seven non-member FedEx Cup points to earn special temporary exempt status for the remainder of the 2014 PGA Tour season. His 21st place finish earned him just over 48 points, thus locking in temporary membership for the rest of the season.
As a result of gaining Special Temporary Exempt Status, Koepka will now be able to accept as many sponsor’s exemptions as he wants for the rest of 2014 as he tries to become a full time member on the PGA Tour.
There are a few different ways Koepka can earn his PGA Tour card now before the end of the season:
1) As has always been the case, he can win an event. Any player that wins a PGA Tour event is given a two year exemption on Tour as well as an invitation to many exclusive events including the Masters. Having unlimited sponsor’s exemptions will give Koepka a better opportunity to win an event before the end of the season.
2) He can also try and rack up as many non-member FedEX Cup points as possible. If Koepka were to finish the season ranked in the top 125 in FedEX Cup points if he were already a member, then he will earn his PGA Tour card for the 2015 season.
Koepka will now attempt to Monday qualify for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship as he continues to pursue his Tour Card. If he fails to qualify, Koepka will headback to Europe to play the European Tour until the next opportunity stateside arises.
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