Brooks Koepka has clearly been enjoying his time as U.S. Open champion. After his triumphant finish at Erin Hills in June, Koepka took a month away from action, returning only for the Open Championship two weeks ago.
Clearly rust wasn’t an issue. Koepka, who cut his professional teeth on the European Tour, finished in a tie for sixth. While all eyes were on Jordan Spieth, Koepka’s steady hand – never too high or too low – translated into a strong run at golf’s oldest championship.
Now, Koepka will make just his third start at Firestone, with the PGA Championship a week away. He was forced to withdraw from this event in 2016 due to a painful ankle injury, but in his 2015 debut, Koepka finished tied for sixth, with scores of 69-68-69-69. Not a bad way to start a WGC career, despite finishing six shots behind winner Shane Lowry.
Koepka’s ball-striking stats haven’t been as stellar as they were in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped the results he’s gotten from remaining at a world-class level. Ranked just 125th in greens-in-regulation (compared to 17th and 59th in ’15 and ’16, respectively), Koepka is still sixth in birdie average and 21st in adjusted scoring. If his iron play is even average this week, it can only mean good things.