BLAINE, Minn. — More sensible than he is sentimental, Brooks Koepka seems like the kind of guy who would gladly give the shirt off his back to help a charity. But he decided his shoes might be worth more.
These aren’t just any shoes.
Koepka on Thursday at the 3M Open wore the white Nike shoes that were made for him for his first Ryder Cup appearance in 2016 at nearby Hazeltine National. Fifteen minutes after he signed for a four-under 67 at TPC Twin Cities, the two-time reigning PGA champion found a sharpie and signed the shoes that already had his last name emblazoned in red letters on the heels.
Then he gave the shoes to 3M Open executive director Hollis Cavner to be auctioned off.
“So I had the idea,” Koepka said after finding the shoes stored in his garage at home in Jupiter, Fla. “I called Nike and I said, ‘Hey, I came across these shoes last time we were at the Ryder Cup.’ They made them for us at Hazeltine, and I figured this is a pretty good place to break them out since we're not too far.”
Koepka didn’t tell Cavner about his plan until Thursday morning, so Cavner and his staff were still trying to figure out the logistics of the auction, which will start some time on Friday and end at noon Monday. Cavner said there will be a link on the tournament website, 3MOpen.com, that will connect to the auction site.
Proceeds will benefit the Masonic Children’s Hospital and the Minnesota Minority Junior Golf Association.
It should be a nice check. Koepka, 29, said he will match the winning bid, doubling the final charitable amount.
“There’s a lot of history behind these shoes,” he said. “I’ve had them sitting in my garage for a while, and I was going to use them for my charity. I figured if you’re going to come back here not far from Hazeltine, it would be cool.”