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By Joel Beall
Eighteen months ago Brooks Koepka was the owner of a lone PGA Tour win. His trophy mantle has filled up considerably since. Koepka added another honour overnight, receiving the Jack Nicklaus Trophy for PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Koepka, who earned his career breakthrough at Erin Hills in 2017, followed with an impressive showing this campaign, becoming the first player since Curtis Strange to defend the U.S. Open title, overcoming brutal conditions and a charging Tommy Fleetwood to win at Shinnecock. The 28-year-old nabbed his third career major at Bellerive, setting a PGA Championship scoring record to secure the Wanamaker.
Koepka also posted runner-up finishes at the WGC-HSBC Champions and Fort Worth Invitational to go along with four other top 10s, despite missing 10 weeks due to an injured wrist. He finished fifth on the money list with $7,094,047 and ninth in FedEx Cup standings.
“On behalf of the PGA Tour, our congratulations to Brooks Koepka on being voted PGA Tour Player of the Year by his peers,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan in a statement. “Brooks has brought a new brand of athleticism to the PGA Tour, and we saw the results this year with his historic season at the major championships and a top-10 finish in the FedExCup. These feats were accomplished despite missing significant time due to injury, a testament to his work ethic and perseverance throughout the season.”
Koepka, who reached a career-best No. 2 in the OWGR, was selected for the award over Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose and Justin Thomas. He continues a trend of first-time Player of the Year winners, with Rory McIlroy the last repeat champ in 2014.
Koepka had already received the PGA of America Player of the Year, which is awarded on a points-based system.
PGA Tour members who played in at least 15 FedExCup events during the 2017-18 season were eligible to vote. The balloting process ended on October 1.