RIDDLELAND, South Carolina – With his mind wandering west to San Diego and at next week’s US Open in Tory Pines, world number eight Brooks Koepka has lost a bit of his focus on the task at hand at the Palmetto Championships in Conjari.
The four-time main winner will head to California early after firing rounds of 72-73 to miss the cut, and his six birds were eliminated over two days with seven bogeys and a double bogey. It was the sixth time Kupka has missed this season, the highest level of his career.
But all is not lost.
“My game is in great shape,” he said on Friday. “I know my grade doesn’t reflect it. I love where it is. I feel better than what I’ve been going for at PGA. I’m very pleased, very happy.”
“I like the way I hit the ball. I love the way I hit the ball too. I love where I am. I will take it to next week.”
But this week, his attention span was short, which is common for Kuepka. While he has no problem getting motivated for majors, he lacks a bit of juice in other events. He’s won four majors—including the 2017 US Open in Erin Hills and the 2018 US Open in Shinnecock—and won four more PGA Tour events in his career.
“I don’t try to miss any pieces. I find it harder to focus on regular PGA Tour events than I do in the majors.” “Majors, I know I’m locked in from the moment I hit the first hit on the tee. Even as I walk from the first tee to the ball, my head is still working on what I need to do. Here I lose focus a bit.”
That’s why I find it difficult, I think, in ordinary events. It’s the focus and energy, the level of excitement isn’t there when it’s in a major. It’s different. I thrive on that bigger stage, that big moment where there’s a bunch of The fans and a tough golf course. I love this.”
This year was a rope jump for Koepka – up and down, up and down. He missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open and then won the Waste Management Phoenix Open the following week.
Then tied for 38The tenth At the Genesis Invitational before taking second place the following week in the World Golf Championship – Workday Championship.
He then missed two pieces before tying for second place in the PGA Championship.
In addition to his focus, much of the asymmetry can be attributed to his surgically repaired right knee; He only played 26 competitive rounds in 2021.
He was happy to get two casting rounds in Congaree, and was happy to be able to make two different shots in competition. And his knee is fine.
“It’s in a really good place. I love where it is.” He said, “I’ve done enough rehab, and the strength is coming. I can almost squat to read the knockout as usual.
“I haven’t done it much this week just because I don’t want to spoil it for next week. So I don’t see anything wrong with next week.”