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With eye on U.S. Open, unfocused Brooks Koepka misses cut in Palmetto Championship at Congaree

RIDGELAND, S.C. – With his thoughts wandering westward to San Diego and subsequent week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, world No. 8 Brooks Koepka misplaced a little bit of his focus for the duty at hand in the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

The four-time main winner will head to California early after firing rounds of 72-73 to overlook the cut, his six birdies over two days worn out by seven bogeys and one double bogey. It was Koepka’s sixth missed cut of the season, a profession excessive.

But all was not misplaced.

“My game’s in good shape,” he mentioned Friday. “I know my score doesn’t reflect it. I like where it’s at. I feel even better than where I was going into the PGA. I’m pretty pleased, pretty happy.

“I like the way I’m striking the ball. I like the way I’m putting the ball, too. I like where I’m at. I’ll take it to next week.”

This week, nonetheless, his consideration span was quick, which isn’t unusual for Koepka. While he has no drawback getting motivated for the majors, he lacks a little bit of juice in different occasions. He has gained 4 majors – together with the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills and the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock – and has gained 4 different PGA Tour occasions in his profession.

“I don’t try to miss a cut. I just have a harder time focusing in regular PGA Tour events than I do majors,” he mentioned. “Majors, I know I’m locked in from the moment I hit the first tee shot. Even walking from the first tee shot to the ball, my head is still going on what I need to do. Out here I kind of lose focus for a little bit.

“I’ve got to figure it out. That’s why I struggle, I think, in regular events. It’s the focus and the energy, the excitement level just isn’t there when it would be in a major. It’s different. I thrive off that bigger stage, that big moment where there’s a bunch of fans and a tough golf course. I love it.”

This yr has been a bungee soar for Koepka – up, down, up, down. He missed the cut in the Farmers Insurance Open after which gained the Waste Management Phoenix Open the next week.

Then he tied for 38th in the Genesis Invitational earlier than tying for second the next week in the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship.

Then he missed two cuts earlier than tying for second in the PGA Championship.

In addition to his focus, a lot of the inconsistency may be attributed to his surgically repaired proper knee; he’s solely performed 26 aggressive rounds in 2021.

He was glad to get two rounds of reps in at Congaree, glad to have the ability to hit totally different photographs in competitors. And his knee is doing simply fantastic.

“It’s in a really good spot. I like where it’s at,” he mentioned. “I’ve done enough rehab, strength’s coming around. I can almost squat down to read a putt like normal.

“Didn’t do it too much this week just because I don’t want to screw it up for next week. So I don’t see anything wrong going into next week.”


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