ERIN, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Former European Tour executive director Ken Schofield said short of seeing a player from Europe win, the continent's golf fans will be "delighted" with American Brooks Koepka's triumph in the U.S. Open.
Schofield, who led the European Tour for 30 years and in 2013 was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, told Reuters that Koepka had won a lot of respect during his days on the European Challenge Tour, beginning as a 22-year-old in 2012.
Koepka recorded three quick victories on the satellite circuit to make the step up to the European Tour before the Floridian eventually progressed to the U.S.-based PGA Tour.
"I know from his victory in the Scottish Challenge talking with people there... who have a high regard and love of the game of golf, that many of them forecast great things for this young gentleman then," Schofield told reporters.
"It will be no surprise to many people back in Europe and certainly no surprise to all of the leading Europeans with whom he played with and against, and who he defeated in Turkey in 2014 as part of the final series in which they all played."
Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, in fact, told reporters this week at Erin Hills golf course that Koepka was "the most underrated American player in the world".
"I know he has a lot of European Tour friends," Schofield added. "I think that other than a European win, I think everybody back home in Europe will be very delighted for Brooks Koepka.
"He's a great player and he's a great gentleman."
(Editing by John O'Brien)