When Brooks Koepak made the high school varsity golf team as a sixth grader, it may have seemed a given that this would be his course in life. But as was reported, Brooks was thinking more bats, balls and a diamond than clubs and a course.
And as much as he liked baseball and had in in his genes,his dad Bob was a winning player in college and his great uncle Dick Groat a 1960s National League champ, he chose golf.
Today a lot of folks are glad he did, especially his parents.
Here’s what you need to know about Denise Jakows and Bob Koepka:
1. Koepka’s Mom, Denise Jakows, Who Described Brooks as ‘Low Key,’ Was Thrilled to Get a ‘Momma Mention’ in a Recent Article
In a story published in Newsday, Jakows explained that her son may appear to be reserved and dispassionate, he’s the former but not the latter.
“He is very low-key. But there are random things that happen throughout the year that are a ton of fun. He’ll say, ‘Oh, we’re going on vacation.’ And then we’ll be on vacation. We don’t necessarily follow calendar holidays, but there are Brooks’ holidays nonetheless and they are fun.”
Widely quoted throughout, Jakows shares details about her life with her sons Brooks and golfer Chase. And was especially proud she got a ‘Momma mention.” She says while she’s a Brooks cheerleader, Brooks and Chase have done the same for her.
2. Jakows, a Former Florida TV News Anchor, Survived Breast Cancer With Help From Her Sons, Brooks & Chase
After she and Bob Koepka’s divorce, Jakows raised Brooks and Chase and told Newsday that she knows better than anyone how strong and dedicated her son is. She said Brooks was her primary support when she was diagnosed in 2011 with with breast cancer and Brooks left school at Florida State University to help care for her and then Chase took over as Jakows endured and saw her way through chemotherapy. She is a breast cancer survivor.
On Mother’s Day, while Chase was on tour in Europe, she was keeping track of him online and was at The Players keeping on eye on Brooks who had a great day of golf.
Jackows was a news anchor and reporter for Channel 5 WPTV in West Palm Beach Florida from 1986 to 1999. She graduated from Temple University with a degree in broadcast journalism, and following her role at WPTV, opened her own production company that specialized in video production, public relations, media crisis management and marketing for hospitals and corporations. She created the Komen Foundation’s “Focus for the Cure,” weekly breast cancer information segments for the TV station where she’d worked and provided weekly health segments for another local station. She now works as a communications manager, according to her LinkedIn.
3. Meanwhile, on Father’s Day, Brooks’ Dad, Bob Koepka, Has His Son’s Back, Writing: It’s a ‘Dad Thing’
Bob Koepka is not shy about sharing his pride in what his son Brooks and Chase have accomplished. As he said in 2017 when Chase was traveling the world with his clubs, he was “So proud of the hard work and never stop believing you can do amazing things son!”
And for Brooks, well, he’s beaming today and has been. His social media is chock-a-block with bragging rights. Bob posted a brief video on his Facebook that’s been widely seen and shared: “What a night we all had with US Open trophy and Brooks Koepka telling stories about his US Open victory! Priceless!”
4. Once An Athlete Himself, Bob Koepka Says He Believes ‘If You Want to Win, You Have to Figure Out a Way’
Bob, married to Sherry Koepka and who lives in Lake Worth, Florida, was raised in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Koepka played basketball and baseball at Bridgeport High School. In 1981 while at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Koepka led the WVWC Bobcats in strikeouts and innings pitched in 1981.
When Brooks took fourth place at the US Open in 2014, Bob Koepka told local media at the time, “It was overwhelming. I had tears, because it was just overwhelming to know that he’s reached the pinnacle of his career …to accomplish that so quickly, I don’t know if anyone thought he could do it so quick.”
Bob Koepka was quoted as saying his father, Brooks’ grandfather was not one for letting someone win just for the sake of it. “You want to win? Figure out a way,” Koepka said he was told by his father who wouldn’t let him win at cards.
“If you want to win, you have to work harder and figure out a way to win. That’s what I’ve always tried to instill in all my kids,” he told reporter Jeremiah Shelor in ‘14.
5. Brooks Will Look to Bring Home to Florida the Open Trophy to Keep His Other One Company
If Brooks becomes the first repeat U.S. Open winner, as Newsday said, “since Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989,” he may just be flying back to the Sunshine State with another trophy to accompany his other. But he said that it’s not enshrined: “It’s in one of the back rooms.”
Like Denise said of Brooks, he’s not outwardly emotionally demonstrative. But that doesn’t mean he’s not thrilled. Excited? Yes. But he doesn’t do cartwheels for the cameras; he celebrates with his teammates and family.
He’s a low key guy.