Former USF men’s golf standout Chase Koepka couldn’t take his eyes off the television as his older brother, Brooks, powered his way up the standings at the U.S. Open.
Chase watched from the Tequesta home he shares with his brother as Brooks delivered a 5-under-par performance in his final round. That round at Erin Hills on Sunday would be what catapulted the 27-year-old to victory.
“There was tons of excitement,” Chase said in a Facebook message to The Oracle. “I was yelling at the TV like a crazy person every time he holed a putt. All I could think was wow, he’s going to win this thing.”
With three consecutive birdie putts on the back nine, Brooks pulled away from the pack with the next lowest scorer finishing four strokes away. He was one of 16 players within six shots of the lead entering the final round.
Though Brooks was brimming with excitement for his brother’s success, there was no time for him to celebrate. He had to catch a plane to Denmark to build his own legacy in the European Challenge Tour.
“He called me on the phone while I was boarding the plane for this week’s European Challenge tour event,” Chase said. “We didn’t speak for too long because I had to take off shortly after but we figured we would celebrate when we both got home.”
Despite not having any PGA or European Tour wins like his brother, Chase won a program record four collegiate tournaments and two conference championships in his time at USF from 2012-2016.
After graduating with a degree in marketing, Chase elected to start his procareer in Europe on the European Challenge Tour. It was the same decision Brooks made upon his graduation from Florida State four years prior.
“I have always looked up to Brooks,” Chase said. “He has been a great mentor for me on the course and has helped so much in pushing me to be where I’m at today.”
Despite his success on tour being minimal, Chase found success playing with his brother at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April.
Competing as a duo, Brooks and Chase both secured clutch shots down the stretch that led them to a top-10 finish and a career-best paycheck of $140,000 for Chase.
“We knew we would either kill each other or we would have a blast,” Brooks told the TC Palm after their fifth place finish. “We had a blast.”
Though his career to this point has been less decorated than his brother’s, Chase isn’t jealous. He instead plans to use Brook’s success as motivation to better himself.
“I don’t have any jealousy when it comes to my brother’s success,” Chase said. “He has worked hard and deserves everything he has done so far in his career. If anything, it’s motivation for me to continue to work harder.”