Brooks Koepka returns this week to the location of one in every of his greater disappointments, but he couldn’t be happier to be at TPC Craig Ranch in Dallas.
“It’s just nice to be back playing, to be honest with you,” he mentioned.
Koepka suffered a proper knee cap dislocation and ligament harm that compelled him to withdraw from the Players Championship on March 7 and bear surgical procedure. He returned to play at the Masters, which he deemed “very satisfying” simply to get again, but wasn’t himself.
“I don’t enjoy missing cuts,” he mentioned.
With the PGA Championship, a serious he’s gained twice (in 2018 and 2019), only a week away, Koepka mentioned an extra month of rehab has helped, but made it clear that he’s still not 100 percent.
“I still can’t squat down, get into a catcher’s position or fully bend down,” he mentioned. “You know, still be a while before I’m 100 percent. It’s dramatically better than it was at Augusta. You know, I feel like the strength is getting there. The mobility is getting there. I’m ahead of schedule. Long ways ahead of schedule of where I should be at this point, so I’m very pleased.”
Brooks Koepka stretches to line up a putt on the 14th inexperienced through the first spherical of the 2021 Masters Tournament on Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo: David J. Phillip/Associated Press)
Koepka went by a winless spell final season, but returned to the winner’s circle at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February after which was within the thick of the trophy hunt at the WGC-Workday Championship at the Concession. He appeared on his option to returning to the dominant pressure that claimed 4 majors and reached World No. 1. And then one other harm setback.
Koepka mentioned he hasn’t made any swing changes to accommodate for the harm, but he’s struggling to load on his proper aspect.
“I get off it,” he mentioned. “That happens with the longer clubs, mainly driver. But everything from about 7-iron in, no problem.”
Koepka is making his sixth profession begin at the AT&T Byron Nelson, along with his finest outcome being a playoff defeat to Sergio Garcia in 2016. That, nonetheless, was at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas. This 12 months, the event shifts to TPC Craig Ranch, the place Koepka has reminiscences he’s buried someplace within the again recesses of his thoughts.
“I remember leaving disappointed,” he mentioned extra than as soon as.
In 2012, TPC Craig Ranch was the location of Koepka flaming out of the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School. He wasn’t alone – Jordan Spieth was among the many casualties. While Spieth took benefit of the sponsor invite route, Koepka wasn’t so lucky and as an alternative earned enjoying privileges on the European Tour’s Challenge Tour and labored his method up the golf ladder the arduous method. It helped make Koepka the participant he’s right now.
“I wasn’t nearly the same player I am today as back in ’12. Maybe I don’t get out here as quickly. You know, who knows? I could have gone through and failed in the final stage and still be stuck on mini tours. You never know,” he mentioned. “It’s one of those crazy things. But it worked out, so I’m not going to complain.”
Nor is he complaining that his knee feels months forward of schedule.
Check the yardage book: TPC Craig Ranch for the AT&T Byron Nelson