Brooks Koepka Blows Away The Competition At 117th U.S. Open | Dog Leg News

About the author

Tom Edrington

Tom Edrington spent the first 10 years of his misguided youth as a sports writer for the Tampa Tribune. His career brought him face to face with many of sports greatest stars -- Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali, Don Shula, countless Hall of Fame NFL stars, more PGA Tour players than he can count. In 1980 he was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America for writing the best news story that year, his coverage of Jack Nicklaus' U.S. Open victory at Baltusrol. Today, 36 years later, golf is still a great part of his life, thanks to competitive playing days and the wonderful people he has met on this fabulous journey.

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    Very, very impressive win by Koepka, and agree he is going to be part of the mix of the big guns from here on. Someone pointed out the proliferation of majors recently that have had record breaking scores and that it was getting to the point that a golfer basically has to set a record to win a major now.

    Each year there is seemingly a new dominant player (Speith, Day, DJ, etc.) who sets a bar but then struggles. It looks as though we may be in for a period where we have quite a few worthy deputies jockeying for the role of the sheriff.

    I don’t know if it is simply that there are so many good young players now, or maybe a bit of complacency that sets in when you’re knocking down $15-$20M a year for being there and being capable.

    I remember that Arnold Palmer said once that players start to make money, maybe win a tournament, and think that running high in the pack was enough. And then, very Arnie-like, he said, “When that happens, they’re done.” This was circa 1965.

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      Tom Edrington

      GREAT observations, you’re right on all counts. I do agree with Arnie….these guys do get fat and happy… have to be driven and you wonder who really is these days…..

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    I do think that when we talk about say, the top 10-20 or so tour pros, we’re looking at the very, very narrow tip of a large golfing pyramid with a very wide base. Any of them is capable of putting together a winning performance in a given tournament, and can blow the field away on a good day.

    I believe they are not only extremely talented, but pretty driven to have gotten to that very rarefied level. It may well be that someone capable of separating themselves from that elite crew has to be a once in a generation level blend of talent, drive, focus, and savvy. Calling Jack, Tiger, Arnie, Ben…anyone there?

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      Tom Edrington

      Also, this Open showed us guys like the X-Man, Xander, a graduate, has game. Look at the two college kids in there, Brian Harman showed a lot of grit and determination as well. Sergio quietly had a decent showing. Seems you get a great one every 10 years…….Hogan/Nelson then Palmer then Nicklaus (don’t forget guys like Trevino, Watson, Floyd) then Woods …seems there were so many more capable players competing against Jack that Tiger had to face, now I believe the torch has been passed, first Open since 1994 with no Mickelson and/or Woods…..

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    Can’t let the list of Nicklaus’s opponents go without a nod to Gary Player.

    The Nicklaus group does seem tougher overall, but as they say, you can only beat the people that come along in your time.

    My hope is that someone will put a comparative analysis together similar to what has been done with baseball. Not sure that the data is there though to really nail it down.

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      Tom Edrington

      Gary won the grand slam twice, I believe, career that is, I was at the Masters in ’78 when he shot 64-64 over the weekend to win……always a nice man, gotten a little stodgy in his old age…lol…as far as the new generation, I believe the rankings will become very interchangeable……especially at the top

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