That didn’t take long.
The “Other Koepka” is off and running in his European Tour debut over in South Africa.
Chase Koepka, younger brother of U.S. Open champion Brooks, shot a seven-under par 65 Thursday at the South African Open.
The younger Koepka earned his card with a nice performance on the Challenge Tour, Europe’s version of the Web.com. He scored five top 10 finishes to earn his playing privileges, following the path that Brooks took to the PGA Tour.
The city of Ehurkuleni is hosting the South African Open and Koepka is up against some name players like Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel Retief Goosen and Ernie Els.
Koepka went out in the morning wave then saw Grace equal his 65, leaving those two tied for the day one lead. Grace’s round was boosted by three eagles.
Chase, a former University of South Florida star stumbled out of the blocks with a bogey at the first hole but scored the ultimate “bounce-back” with an eagle at the par five second on the Glendowner course. For his day’s work, Koepka finished with that eagle, seven birdies and a pair of bogeys.
Koepka’s momentum did not carry over into round two on Friday. All he could manage was a one-under par 71 that got him to eight-under par. He went from leading to five behind round two co-leaders Chris Paisley and Adrien Saddier. Saddier went out and set a course record with a nine-under par 63. Paisley added a 65 to his opening 66.
Koepka is still looking to finish high enough to get a spot in next week’s HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi.
ASIA SHOCKS EUROPE ON DAY ONE OF EURASIA CUP
The heavily-favored European team got more than it bargained for on day one of the Eurasia Cup matches in Malaysia.
The Asian team, powered by its newcomers, held a 3 1/2 – 2 1/2 lead after the foursomes (best-ball) matches.
Europe’s best team — Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey was too talented for Asia’s best twosome — Ben An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, winning 4-and-3.
Europe’s only other full point came from Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton. They were 5-and-4 winners over Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia.
Saturday’s matches will feature two-ball (alternate shot) competition.