Can Brooks Koepka Stun the World with a Trio of US Open Victories?

The Majors season in golf got underway with a revised calendar, but the first Major of the year remained as The Masters at Augusta in April. This year, Tiger Woods produced a stunningly consistent display to hold on to the top spot and win an emotional 15th Major title of what has been an incredible career and a stunning return to his best form following a lengthy spell out with injury.

As incredible as Woods’ achievement was, it is likely that Brooks Koepka could set an even greater record this coming week at the US Open. The American world number 1 landed the second Major of the season with victory at Bethpage in the USPGA Championship, which has been moved in the calendar from late August to May. The victory was Koepka’s second USPGA victory in a row after he also won in 2018.

So the American ace is one of the favourites at the US Open this week and he is going for much more than a second Major title in a row. Koepka has won both of the last two US Open tournaments as well as both of the last two USPGA major events. This means that if Koepka can win this year’s event at Pebble Beach, he will be the first golfer since Scot Willie Anderson at the turn of the 20th century, to land three US Open victories in a row.

If you fancy a flutter on whether Brooks can make it an incredible three US Open victories in a row, then one place to make a bet is bet365 Sport. Koepka is currently a great value 9/1 second favourite to earn that triple victory and you can back him now at bet365 Sport. If you are not yet a customer, then you can join today using the bet365 Sport New Customer Promotion that is currently available that has some nice bonuses for people just signing up with the site.

Just how incredible is the feat that Brooks Koepka has already achieved at the US Open? We decided to take a look at the facts and previous winners over the years.

Koepka’s Incredible US Open Run

Having landed the US Open crown back to back in 2017 and 2018, Brooks Koepka became only the second golfer of the modern era to win the tournament twice in successive years. The only other man to do this was American Curtis Strange, who won in both 1988 and 1989.

Prior to that, it was the great Ben Hogan who was the last back to back winner, doing so in 1950 and 1951. Three other players, Ralph Guldahl (1937 & 1938), Bobby Jones (1929 & 1930) and the first American winner of the tournament John McDermott (1911 and 1912) are the only other players to win two tournaments back to back.

The only player ever to win three US Open tournaments is Scottish legend Willie Anderson, who landed his three victories in 1903, 1904 and 1905. Those trio of wins came after he won his first US Open back in 1901.

Two and Three Time Winners in Other Major Championships

Looking outside the US Open and into the other three Major Championships, we find that double winners of events are rare, but not unheard of and of course, Tiger Woods features heavily in the modern era for players that have landed a tournament double in successive years.

The USPGA Championship Back to Back Winners (years)

Three Wins or more back to back

  • Walter Hagen (1924, 1925 & 1926)

Two wins back to back

  • Brooks Koepka (2018 & 2019)
  • Tiger Woods (2006 & 2007), (1999 & 2000)
  • Denny Shute (1936 & 1937)
  • Leo Diegel (1928 & 1929)
  • Gene Sarazen (1922 & 1923)

The Masters Back to Back Winners (years)

Three Wins or more back to back

  • No player has won the Masters three years in a row

Two wins back to back

  • Tiger Woods (2001 & 2002)
  • Nick Faldo (1989 & 1990)
  • Jack Nicklaus (1965 & 1966)

The Open Back to Back Winners (years)

Three Wins or more back to back

  • Peter Thomson (1954, 1955 & 1956)
  • Bob Ferguson (1880, 1881 & 1882)
  • Jamie Anderson (1877, 1878 & 1879)
  • Young Tom Morris (1868, 1869, 1870)*

Two wins back to back

  • Padraig Harrington (2007 & 2008)
  • Tiger Woods (2005 & 2006)
  • Tom Watson (1982 & 1983)
  • Lee Trevino (1971 & 1972)
  • Arnold Palmer (1961 & 1962)
  • Bobby Locke (1949 & 1950)
  • Walter Hagen (192 & 1929)
  • Bobby Jones (1926 & 1927)
  • James Braid (1905 & 1906)
  • Harry Vardon (1898 & 1899)
  • John Henry Taylor (1894 & 1895)
  • Old Tom Morris (1861 & 1862)

*Young Tom Morris did win four British Open tournaments in a row as the 1871 Open Championship was not contested, with Young Tom Morris also winning the 1872 tournament, although this is not in a successive year.

With so many of these triple and double winners coming in the early years of golf, when the fields were much smaller and far wider in terms of ability, it is remarkable to note that even double back to back winners in modern times (say from the 1980s onwards) are incredibly rare. Indeed across all Major tournaments, players have won back to back of the same major in successive years on just ten occasions since 1980. Tiger Woods alone is responsible for five of those instances and Koepka two himself.

The only other modern golfers to win back to back in any Major since the 1980s are Tom Watson (The Open), Nick Faldo (The Masters) and Padraig Harrington (The Open).

Therefore, what Koepka is hoping to achieve this weekend at Pebble Beach is unprecedented in the modern era of golf. The last trio victor of a single major in successive years was Peter Thomson who won the British Open three times in a row from 1954 to 1956. It is therefore 63 years since anybody has achieved this incredible feat.

Who will be Koepka’s main challengers?

Of course, Tiger Woods, one of just two players in the field to have won a US Open at Pebble Beach (the other being Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell) will be one of Koepka’s biggest opponents as will Rory McIlroy. The Irish former World Number 1 returned to form in sensational style this past weekend with a seven-shot victory at the Canadian Open after shooting a final round 61 to claim his second win of the season.

The American challenge is also very strong with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffle, Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau all in with a real change. Players from further afield to watch include Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, John Rahm and Francesco Molinari all from Europe as well as Australian pair Adam Scott and Jason Day.

For me though, I think this tournament will be won by an American player and I think Jordan Spieth at 20/1 is coming into the right form to get back to winning ways in Majors, although I would love Koepka to earn the third win in a row and land himself a place in the history books.

*All odds in the article were provided by bet365 Sport and were correct as of 12pm on Monday 10th June 2019.