SHANGHAI – Brooks Koepka is spending a much-needed week of vacation in Thailand before two final events on the European Tour that could shape his schedule next year.
Koepka began his career on the European Challenge Tour, winning three times to earn an instant promotion to the European Tour. He did well enough in his limited starts on the PGA Tour last year – a tie for fourth in the U.S. Open and a tie for third in the Frys.com Open – to earn his U.S. card.
He would like to play both tours again next year, but that can only happen if he's entrenched in the top 50 in the world. That would make him eligible for the World Golf Championships and the majors, which means he would need only limited starts in Europe to keep both cards.
But right now, Koepka is at No. 60.
Even though he was a European Tour member first, PGA Tour regulations don't allow the Floridian to claim Europe as his home circuit, meaning he would need to get a release to play overseas. Players typically are granted three "conflicting event releases" when playing 15 PGA Tour events, with one more release for every five more PGA Tour events they play.
One caveat is for players to claim an alternative home circuit, but only if they have been a member of that tour at least five years and commit to playing at least 20 times on the PGA Tour. Frank Nobilo of New Zealand went that route when he joined the PGA Tour after several years in Europe.
Koepka finishes his year in Turkey and Dubai, both of which will have strong world ranking points.