Brooks Koepka is in the midst of taking a three-week break to nurse a nagging wrist injury, but another Koepka surfaced on a leader board on Thursday. Brooks' younger brother, Chase, fired a 65 at the South African Open to share the first-round lead with Branden Grace.
Chase Koepka, who turned 24 earlier this month, is in his first full season on the European Tour after finishing ninth on the Challenge Tour money list in 2017. Prior to that, he was a three-time All-American at the University of South Florida. Chase is taking a similar career path as his big brother, who also played in Europe for several years before becoming a PGA Tour star and a U.S. Open champ last year.
Brooks, currently No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and Chase teamed up to finish T-5 at the 2017 Zurich Classic, the first time the tournament was contested as a team event.
“It was a good experience,” Chase told Golf World's Tim Rosaforte at the time. “I felt like I have a little bit to improve on if I want to be here week-in and week-out with these guys.”
And improve he has. Brooks pairing with his brother in a PGA Tour event raised some eyebrows last year when Chase arrived in New Orleans ranked just 1,434th in the world, but eight months later he's climbed all the way to No. 336. Three more scores in South Africa like Thursday's round and he could make his biggest jump yet.