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Koepka feared for life during Kenya taxi 'joyride' on Challenge Tour


MAJOR: Brooks Koepka in action during yesterday’s practice.  Photo: Reuters

MAJOR: Brooks Koepka in action during yesterday’s practice. Photo: Reuters

MAJOR: Brooks Koepka in action during yesterday’s practice. Photo: Reuters

Three-time major winner Brooks Koepka has revealed he feared for his life after getting lost in Kenya while competing on the Challenge Tour.

Koepka held off a rejuvenated Tiger Woods to win the US PGA Championship in August, joining Woods, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win the US Open and US PGA in the same season.

After becoming the first player in 29 years to win back-to-back US Open titles in June, Koepka has now won three of his last six major starts, a wrist injury having forced him to sit out the Masters in April.

But back in 2013 the 28-year-old was competing on the second-tier Challenge Tour - where he won three times to earn promotion to the European Tour - and endured a scary experience during a tournament in Nairobi.

Asked in his pre-Ryder Cup press conference for his best story from that time, Koepka said: "There's a lot of them. There's definitely some interesting ones. I mean, getting lost in Kenya and being in a taxi, and I thought the guy was going to kill us.

"He took us on a joyride, a bunch of guys hopped out of the gas station, tried to get in the car. I even called my family to try to turn my (phone's) location services on to try to tell them where we were at.

"If we were supposed to go left, we went right and went into... it wasn't the best part of town, put it that way."

Koepka and Tony Finau were selected by Team USA captain Jim Furyk to lead the charge for the Americans in today's opening fourballs, where they face off against Justin Rose and John Rahm.

Koepka is one of just three American players to have experienced Le Golf National in competition, missing the cut in the French Open in 2014, but the bad news for Europe is that it reminds him of a major championship venue.

Three of Koepka's four PGA Tour titles have come in majors and the world number three added: "I don't have any interesting stories from when I was here last time. I actually stayed right by kind of where we're staying now.

"I remember going into town, going to the Palace of Versailles, checking it out, doing a couple of touristy things. I didn't know at the time I was going to be back here playing the Ryder Cup. You kind of hope for it, but you don't really know what's going to happen.

"It's a beautiful city. It was fun to kind of walk around and enjoy the town.

"But as far as the golf goes, this was probably one of the best golf courses and exciting golf courses, because it kind of reminds me of a major championship.

"There's a disaster around every corner. Every shot, you've got to be very focused.

"I mean, you miss a fairway, both guys miss a fairway in alternate-shot (foursomes), bogey could even win the hole."

Earlier Furyk said "chemistry" between Woods (left) and Patrick Reed had been the key to their pairing, which saw the successful partnership of Reed and Jordan Spieth broken up.

Asked what would make him nervous when play finally gets under way this morning, Furyk said: "If they showed up with a different frame of mind. That would make me nervous. I have seen some 'Oh, s***' faces in the Ryder Cup, I'll say that.

"I'm sure I've had a couple myself. Yeah, that would make me nervous. I don't expect that to happen."