Tagged in: Brooks Koepka

Koepka out of U.S Open over ongoing injuries

Brooks Koepka, who has been hampered by a knee problem for the better part of a year, withdrew from next week’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot, tweeting, “I’m looking forward to getting healthy and competing at 100% again very soon.”

Koepka has collected two of the past three U.S. Opens and concluded second to Gary Woodland last year at Pebble Beach.

Last month, Koepka was attempting to become the first player since Walter Hagen in the 1920s to collect three straight PGA Championships, but he fell out of contention with a final-round 74 at Harding Park.

Koepka missed the cut the following week at the Wyndham Championship then withdrew from the first FedEx Cup playoff event, the Northern Trust, ending his 2019-20 campaign.

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He has dropped to No. 8 in the world after starting 2020 in the top spot.

The four-time major champion had a stem cell procedure on his left knee after last year’s Tour Championship then aggravated the injury at a tournament in South Korea in October. He didn’t play again until January, and it’s mostly been a struggle since.

Koepka finished seventh at the RBC Heritage after the PGA Tour’s restart and tied for second in early August at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. He was just two shots out of the lead heading into the final round of the PGA Championship before dropping to a tie for 29th.

“My golf swing’s fine,” Koepka said after missing the cut at the Wyndham. “If I can physically do it, then yes, everything’s fine.”

But Koepka has also complained about trying to get to his left side in his swing, and during the second round of the PGA Championship, he three times had a trainer help with his hip.

“It just locked up, cramped,” Koepka said. “I couldn’t do anything with it.”

Paul Waring will replace Koepka based on his Official World Golf Ranking as of Aug. 23. The U.S. Open starts Sept. 17 after being rearranged from June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States Golf Association has yet to announce an alternate to take Koepka’s place in the field of 144.

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Tiger grouped with Mcilroy, Koepka for Memorial

The head-to-head showdown many fans were hoping for this week at Muirfield Village will have to wait until at least the weekend.

Brooks Koepka will play in one of four featured groups for the first two rounds of the Memorial Tournament. However, he will not be grouped with Bryson DeChambeau, the winner in Detroit two weeks ago who has involuntarily become somewhat of a rival to Koepka.

Instead, Koepka draws the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Rory McIlroy, and five-time Memorial champion Tiger Woods, who will play on Tour for the first time since the Genesis Invitational in February.

Woods has played just three times this season, winning the Zozo Championship, tying for ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open and ending up solo 68th at Riviera. McIlroy had seven consecutive top-5s, including a victory, to start the season, but since the Tour returned from its three-month absence during the COVID-19 pandemic, McIlroy has no top-10s in three starts.

Koepka is coming off a missed cut last week at Muirfield Village and has just one top-10 this season as he continues to recover from an ‘excruciating’ injury to his left knee, which he re-injured in October after undergoing a stem-cell treatment following last year’s Tour Championship.

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DeChambeau will be grouped with last week’s Workday Charity Open winner Collin Morikawa and defending Memorial champion Patrick Cantlay.

The other two featured groups will be Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele, and Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Shane Lowry.

While Woods, McIlroy and Koepka is one heckuva draw, golf fans on Twitter had been lobbying for a Koepka-DeChambeau pairing after Koepka appeared to take a couple of shots at the bulked-up DeChambeau last week, first tweeting only a GIF of “Eastbound and Down” character Kenny Powers attacking a cameraman over alleged steroid allegations, and then telling reporters that he was going to “run the table” after committing to the Memorial late Friday, seemingly a reference to DeChambeau’s recent casino speak.

The perceived shots come after Koepka called DeChambeau out for slow play last August at The Northern Trust, causing DeChambeau to seek out Koepka’s caddie, Ricky Elliott, and tell him that he wished Koepka would make those kind of comments to his face.

The two later met on the range at Liberty National and apparently squashed the beef. Though neither player revealed what was said, less than two months later DeChambeau revealed in Las Vegas that he was going to transform his body in a quest to add speed and distance.

Nearly 40 pounds later, DeChambeau has, and two weeks removed from his victory in Detroit he finds himself ranked seventh in the world, right behind Koepka.

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Brooks Koepka’s caddie tests positive

Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the Travelers Championship after his caddie, Ricky Elliott, tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The pro golfer, 30, told Golfweek that Elliott tested positive for the virus on Wednesday morning at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.

“I’m going to pull out to protect everybody else. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Koepka said. “I don’t want to risk anyone’s life if they have respiratory issues or underlying conditions. The only way this tour can continue is if guys to do this sort of thing and be proactive about it.”

Koepka, Elliott, and Koepka’s coach Claude Harmon III all were originally tested for COVID-19 as a precaution after playing a practice round with Graeme McDowell, whose caddie, Ken Comboy, had tested positive.

“We all got tested Monday—myself, Claude and Ricky. We all came back negative,” Koepka said. “We had no symptoms. Nothing.”

However, Elliott’s additional test on Wednesday came out positive, which led Koepka to immediately withdraw from the Travelers Championship. “Ricky has my full support in this. I feel bad for him,” Koepka said. “We have got to do everything we can to not spread it. We have to protect the field. That’s the reason we have these rules.”

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Koepka stated he and his team have been on strict lockdown during the first three events back on tour, staying together with a chef in rented homes and leaving only to go to the golf course or get tested.

The only occasion on which someone left from isolation was on Monday, June 15, when Elliott joined McDowell and Comboy at the funeral of a close friend in Orlando.

McDowell, 40, told Golfweek that Comboy now thinks he may have been exposed to the virus during a commercial flight he took two days earlier on June 13 from Dallas to Orlando after the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Koepka said that he and his girlfriend Jena Sims, as well as his chef, are all being tested for coronavirus Wednesday at the golf course. Based on the results, he will decide whether to return home to Jupiter, Florida, or quarantine in Connecticut.

The PGA Tour has since put in place a health and safety plan that forces any player who tests positive to be “immediately isolated” for a minimum of 10 days “after the positive test and no subsequent symptoms or two negative test results at least 24 hours apart.”

The tour said that 369 players, caddies and essential personnel were all tested on-site before the RBC Heritage initiated, and none tested positive.

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Brooks Koepka to pull out of Presidents Cup due to knee injury

Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the Presidents Cup due to a knee injury he suffered last month in South Korea.

He has been substituded in the competition by Rickie Fowler.

Koepka is the No 1 player in the world and was the leading qualifier for the Presidents Cup, which will be played between December 12 and 15 at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

He previously pulled out of the CJ Cup last month with the same ailment.

Koepka said at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open earlier this fall that he had a procedure done on his left knee following the 2018-19 PGA Tour season.

“It wasn’t technically surgery; it was stem cell,” he stated, “Got to go in there and inject it. I was watching it on the screen as they were doing it, and it was probably one of the most painful things. I was screaming when they did it.

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“I limped out of there. I was limping for probably two, three days after, and then it’s just about trying to grow the muscles around it. Try to get strong again, rest it. That’s kind of how we went with it, doing a little rehab. The important thing was to not walk with a limp. Those three days you’re kind of off your feet. And at the same time, enjoy your offseason.”

Koepka may have enjoyed his offseason, but he probably hasn’t enjoyed his start to this new campaing. He followed a missed cut at the Shriners with that WD at the CJ Cup and now has bowed out of the Presidents Cup.

It’s a disconcerting trend for the No. 1 player in the world. The U.S. — despite losing probably the best player on their side — still a heavy favorite to beat the International team at Royal Melbourne in three weeks.

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