Brooks Koepka recently dismissed talk of a rivalry with Rory McIlroy or any other PGA Tour player. "I'm not looking at anybody behind me," Koepka told AFP ahead of the CJ Cup. "I'm No. 1 in the world. I've got open road in front of me I'm not looking in the rearview mirror." Three weeks later, Koepka remains comfortably atop the Official World Golf Ranking, but if he checked his rearview, he'd see some pretty big names approaching.
It's probably just a coincidence, but three of the game's biggest names have won tournaments since Brooks' bold statement. Justin Thomas took the title that week in South Korea—after Koepka withdrew with a knee issue—Tiger Woods won for a record-tying 82nd time in Japan the following week, and McIlroy moved a bit closer to golf's top spot thanks to a victory at the WGC-HSBC Championship on Sunday. “Look, I don’t think I’d be a competitor if there wasn’t extra motivation there," McIlroy told Brad Faxon on his SiriusXM radio show after. "I mean of course." OK, so maybe that win wasn’t a coincidence.
In any event, with Thomas, Woods and McIlroy winning in consecutive weeks (Brendon Todd also won the Bermuda Championship opposite McIlroy’s victory in Shanghai), the PGA Tour is on quite a run of high-ranked winners. But it’s an even rarer stretch than you might realize. According to the PGA Tour, this is the first time since last summer that a top-10 player has won in three straight weeks.
As you can see, that stretch also involved Thomas. And Koepka, who held off a final-round charge from Tiger to win at Bellerive.
Continuing this streak, however, might be tough as we head toward a soft part in the schedule when top-10 players are likely to hibernate ahead of next month’s Presidents Cup. The PGA Tour is off this week before the final two official events of the fall schedule, the Mayakoba Golf Classic and the RSM Classic.