The three-time Major champion has made a name for himself in recent years with back-to-back US Open victories before sealing the 2018 PGA Championship. We sit down with the American star to learn more about his winning formula ahead of his title defence at Bethpage Black.
WWG: In a 14-month spell you put yourself alongside some of the game’s biggest names as a three-time Major Champion, which is more than Greg Norman, Sandy Lyle, Johnny Miller and Ben Crenshaw ever won – how does that sound?
BK: It’s pretty incredible. It’s crazy to think about but I try not to reflect too much on what has happened too much because I’m still trying to live in the moment, as I think I’m in the prime of my career.
WWG: You missed four months of action in 2018 before your US Open defence with a wrist injury, was that a painful absence from the Tour?
BK: When I came back I thought about a lot of things – was I still going to be the same golfer? Would I still be able to have that bow at the top of the swing? But for the first few weeks while I was out I wasn’t that bothered. Then after a while, the more I sat there the more I became bothered by it. It turned out to be a blessing, because I didn’t know how much I loved golf before it was taken away from me like that.
WWG: You’ve recently become a bit outspoken about slow play on Tour, why is that?
BK: Well, Rules officials have got to take things into their own hands and actually penalise players for doing it and bring it to the fore. They can penalise a 16-year-old at Augusta but some of the best players in the game do it week in, week out and nothing gets done. I think that’s the problem, they’re the best players and they’re taking their sweet time and getting away with it. I’ve got to embrace the role I’m in as one of the best players in the game and I feel I’ve got to be outspoken about stuff like slow play.
WWG: Why do you think you’ve won more Majors than ‘regular’ PGA Tour titles?
BK: I think during the Major weeks, you’ve got so many guys playing, a couple of them are mentally going to beat themselves up. Just in contention, if it’s tough, certain guys are going to throw themselves out, and it really kind of whittles down to a few players. Especially by Saturday, you can pretty much almost predict who is going to be there come Sunday. I’m a confident player. I believed I could be one of the best players in the world but actually doing it is another matter. I practise for the big moments but you can’t replicate pressure. You never know what’s going to happen, so you have to take control, take the reigns and see where it goes. And, most importantly, you’ve got to enjoy the ride.