Brooks Koepka thinks Vikings WR Adam Thielen could play professional golf
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Adam Thielen left the final hole of Wednesday’s pro-am at the WM Phoenix Open in front of a crowd of adoring Minnesota Vikings fans, many wearing his No. 19 jersey.
They were hoping to get an autograph from two-time NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Thielen.
But could he ever walk the course as professional golfer Adam Thielen?
The game is certainly not unfamiliar to the NFL star. He was a member of the 2007 state championship golf team while attending Detroit Lakes High School in Minnesota. He worked hard at a number of charity events between practices and steadily rose through the ranks, finishing in the top 12 at last year’s American Championship of the Century in Lake Tahoe. And he is known in golf circles for wearing a stylish pair of Happy Gilmore shoes during the 2021 Diamond Resorts LPGA Tournament of Champions.
On Wednesday at TPC Scottsdale, Thielen made his WM Phoenix Open debut and was paired with Brooks Koepka, who was clearly impressed with his playing partner.
“We were laughing about it, my team – Jeff Pierce and my caddy Ricky – we were talking about it. It’s amazing,” Koepka said of Thielen’s skills. “His ball speed is probably in the top 15 here in ball speed. I mean, last hole, it was 179 and that’s changing.
Before you scoff at the idea of Thielen making it to the PGA Tour, remember that not many people hired him to be a franchise catcher. He played Division II football at Minnesota State University, located in Mankato.
His perseverance paid off after being denied an invitation to the NFL Combine, as he impressed scouts at a regional combine and eventually found his way onto the Vikings training roster.
Koepka joked that Thielen’s determination, combined with his raw talent, could serve him well in professional golf.
“We were laughing. Give him six, eight months to refine the game and it’s almost like he can play professional golf. He’s just an athlete. Athletes go around,” Koepka said. “He’s good, obviously very good with football, I don’t have to say that, but I think he played baseball.
“I mean, he said he played four sports all through high school, so a real athlete there. Nice guy.