CJ Cup
October 13, 2020

Brooks Koepka says he didn't watch Bryson DeChambeau's U.S. Open win and that injuries are the 'whole reason I played like crap'

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Chris Keane

Brooks Koepka is making his first start in two months at this week’s CJ Cup. The appearance is a marker of sorts; it was this tournament last year where Koepka slipped on wet concrete and aggregated his left knee, a knee that he had already undergone a painful stem-cell surgery on just weeks before. Koepka ultimately missed four months of action, including the Presidents Cup, and his return was marked by a performance nowhere near the play that produced four majors over the previous three seasons. Worse, Koepka then suffered a torn labrum in his left hip at the PGA Championship, forcing him to withdraw from the FedEx Cup Playoffs and U.S. Open.

Twelve months later, Koepka has fallen from No. 1 in the world to No. 11. Koepka has seesawed on the extent his injuries had on his game, but speaking to the media at Shadow Creek Tuesday, Koepka was blunt in his assessment.

“Its the whole reason I played like crap,” Koepka said.

Koepka said he has spent the past two months rehabbing his hip in San Diego. Though the injury occurred at TPC Harding Park, Koepka isn’t sure it happened at the golf course.

“I think its just—I dont know when it actually happened,” Koepka said. “I know I felt it at the PGA, or thats when it became the worst trying to manage it and play through it. Just one of those things where if youre not getting any weeks off to actually treat it, its hard to treat it on the road and do everything you need to do.”

The 30-year-old received a cortisone shot and opted for rest after withdrawing from The Northern Trust. “I didnt know how bad I felt until I actually feel good,” Koepka said. He only begun hitting balls 10 days ago. Still, Koepka asserted his body is “squared away” and that he plans to play this week and the Houston Open before traveling to Augusta National in November.

As for what he missed about the tour in his sabbatical, Koepka said he wasn’t watching golf. That includes the proceedings at Winged Foot, won by a certain player Koepka has enjoyed prodding over the past year.

“Yeah, I didnt watch a shot of it, didnt see anything,” Koepka said of Bryson DeChambeau’s U.S. Open conquest.

However, lest one think that was another poke in their ongoing rivalry, Koepka did manage to compliment DeChambeau for his newfound length that spurred him to victory.

“Hes using his, one of his skills to his advantage,” Koepka said. “Hes always had speed, but hes pushing it to that next level, finding the boundaries of how far he can actually hit it and play with it and hes done a good job of that. Hes hitting it a mile.

“Yeah, I mean, the 48-inch driver, I dont know. Like is that the longest you can use? OK, it is the longest you can use. OK, if he uses it, theres a chance he gains even more yardage. Hey, its something hes found thats working for him. Its cool to see just kind of as like a fan of the game. I dont see anything wrong with it. Hey, its working for him.”