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May 23, 2019

There was probably a sigh of relief at the Official World Golf Ranking HQ on Monday morning. The ranking points had been tallied following the PGA Championship and Brooks Koepka's fourth major championship win in two years saw him deservedly, albeit narrowly, regain the world number one spot over Dustin Johnson. 

While Tiger Woods' dramatic return to competitive golf, capped off with a remarkable win at the Masters last month, was undoubtedly golf's story of the year, if not the decade, Koepka's sudden rise to the top of the game may prove to have more of an effect on the professional game for years to come. 

The fact remains golf hasn't seen a sustained period of dominance atop the world rankings since Tiger himself was winning every other event back in the 2000s. 

Since Tiger's extended time atop the official world golf rankings ended in 2010, no fewer than 11 other golfers have spent some time at world number one (Tiger himself had another period on top in 2013-14). 

While it is entirely possible that Tiger could return to number one at some point before heading off to the Champions Tour or calling it a day, his age and reduced playing schedule makes it very unlikely that Woods will ever dominate as he did previously. 

In fact, the chances of anyone coming close to what Tiger has achieved in his career in our lifetimes are slim to none. But it's still fun to speculate. 

At first, it was Rory McIlroy who was touted as a being golf's next superstar, then Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Dustin Johnson to name a few. 

While all of the above could, and maybe should, go on to have hall of fame careers, no one currently looks more likely to end their career with a major tally in the double digits than Brooks Koepka. 

After securing major number four last Sunday at Bethpage Black, Koepka has now won more majors in the last two years than McIlroy, Spieth, Thomas and Johnson combined.  

It must be noted that other players have enjoyed similar periods of dominance before experiencing a dip in form. McIlroy won back-to-back majors in 2014, as did Spieth with the first two majors of 2015 - narrowly missing out on the other two. 

However, there seems to be a cutting edge to Koepka's game which makes him such a formidable force. He is not alone in his ability to overpower a golf course, nor is he when it comes to having nerves of steel, but perhaps a combination of these two aspects combined with his consistent ability to raise his game for the majors is what will set him apart from the rest for years to come. 

Brooks represents the best of a modern golfer, a continuation of the trend that Tiger started two decades ago. Athletic, mentally resilient and a big-time player. 


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