Younger Koepka betters big brother Brooks by four shots in Vegas

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LAS VEGAS – Chase Koepka doesn’t get to big time his big brother that often.

So when he gets his chance, he’s going to take it.

Playing the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on a sponsor exemption, the younger Koepka fired a bogey-free, 5-under 66, bettering his four-time-major-winning brother by four.

“It’s nice. But, you know,” he said, hesitating a bit, “he’s so good. He’s so good.”

Chase has made three prior PGA Tour starts, two of which were at the Zurich Classic, where he teamed with Brooks.

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: Full-field scores | Full coverage

He spent this past summer making 12 starts on the European Challenge Tour, but played the weekend only three times.

“I was a bit homesick being over there,” he admitted. “I took some time to kind of regroup and figure some things out for myself, get a little happier. Definitely showed today on the golf course. Had some fun out there and it was nice to see that result.”

He further explained that being separated from his family proved difficult and called a nine-week stretch in Europe this summer “very tolling on me mentally.”

Koepka recently failed to advance out of the first stage of European Tour Qualifying School and will next week turn his attention to the first stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School in Utah.

But first, he’s got a PGA Tour event to play here in Vegas, and he needs to go harass his brother a little.

“I do have to needle him every now and then when I do get a chance to nip him on a day like today,” he said.