And to think before the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, I was considering leaving two-time defending PGA Champion Brooks Koepka out of this week’s power rankings.
Despite a troublesome left knee that’s been plaguing him dating back to 2019, Koepka bounced back from some poor performances to nearly win last week in Memphis.
He had just one finish better than 32nd (7th, Charles Schwab Challenge) in five starts since June and was outside the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings. It had been a year since his last victory, which was in Memphis.
Koepka led late on Sunday, but was down one on the 18th hole when a water ball submerged his chances. Still, rounds of 62-71-68-69 and T-2nd are signs of encouragement.
The former Florida State Seminole stuffed approach shots all week long, finishing first in the field in strokes gained approach (8.436 total). Too bad he was 58th in putting (-2.731).
As is often the case for BK, it’s about rolling in a few putts. He’s always going to have enough birdie looks.
“I feel good. I feel like my game’s right there,” Koepka was quoted by TeeScripts. “This is where we wanted to be, peaking for the PGA. I feel like my game’s right there, everything’s solid. I hit a lot of good putts today, just didn’t go in. Yeah, I mean, I’m pleased with it.”
Koepka beat Tiger by two to win the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive. He repeated in 2019 at Bethpage Black, again winning by two but this time over Dustin Johnson. Koepka led by more than that throughout much of Sunday.
He also won by four at the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills and by one at the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Koepka also finished second in 2019 at the Masters and U.S. Open as well as fourth at the PGA. Remind me again why he wasn’t Player of the Year?
He missed his first two major cuts in 2012 and 2013. Since then, Koepka’s played 22 straight weekends with 12 top-10s and six more top-25s.
It’s clear the regular PGA Tour schedule doesn’t get his juices flowing. Majors do. He’ll be ready to go this week while in good form.