(Los Angeles) Brooks Koepka is at the site of a major tournament and he feels as good as ever. His health. His track record. His mood.
Especially his mood.
Koepka avoided all the distractions surrounding the PGA’s deal with the Saudi fund that funds the LIV Tour, turning enemies into friends. He said he was having lunch in Florida when he heard the news. He then went to train for the U.S. Open.
“There are four weeks a year that I really care about, and this is one of them,” he said. I want to play well. »
But when he finished his press conference on Tuesday, he left the stage, smiling broadly and saying, jokingly, “See you at Travelers.”
He was talking about the Travelers Championship, a PGA tournament coming up next week from which members of the LIV Tour are excluded.
Rarely has such important news been so little commented on, as the elite of the golfing world is gathered at the Los Angeles Country Club in anticipation of the United States Open this weekend.
And that doesn’t bother Koepka.
Koepka is more interested in major titles, and nobody seems to raise his level of play like him in these tournaments.
He was leading after three rounds at the Masters until Jon Rahm caught him, and he won the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, his fifth major title of his career. This is his favorite victory, as he had to overcome a knee injury that could have threatened his career.
Koepka said if he had been healthy, it might have been more difficult for him to make the decision to join the LIV circuit last year.
But he is happy no matter where he plays and the game format. And he is especially focused on major tournaments, in which he always has the right to participate.
In addition to his five wins, Koepka has four major runner-up finishes; he has finished in the top 10 18 times in his last 30 majors.
He’s spent the last two days on the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club, familiarizing himself with the front nine on Monday and then the back nine on Tuesday. He will play another nine holes on the final day of practice, this Wednesday.
And it’s not all the talk about the future of the PGA and the LIV Tour that’s going to bother him.
Health is also part of Koepka’s recipe for success.
Last year, when his left knee wasn’t yet at 100%, he finished tied for 55th in two majors and fell short of qualifying for the weekend rounds in of the other two. It was during this period that he wondered if he could ever compete with the best in the world again.
Then the LIV circuit pulled out the checkbook. Koepka was able to take advantage of a full off-season to heal his knee and regain good feelings.
And he was able to reclaim his “Big Game Brooks” moniker this season.