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Despite a cold putter, Brooks Koepka posted a four-under 67 on Saturday at Royal Portrush.

By Daniel Rapaport
July 20, 2019

Not even an ice-cold putter can hold Brooks Koepka down. Not at the majors. 

The four-time major champion finished birdie-birdie on Saturday for a four-under 67, keeping him in contention heading into the final round of the Open Championship. 

And it could've been so, so much better. 

Koepka missed a number of makeable putts on Moving Day at Royal Portrush, where he has struggled on the greens all week. But a terrific ball-striking day—he hit 10 fairways and 14 greens in regulation—allowed him to post his 18th under par score in his last 20 rounds in majors. Koepka, who has finished first or second in each of the last four majors, is a staggering 56-under over those last 20 major championship loops.

"Just relying on ball striking, that's it," Koepka told NBC after the round. "I don't think anybody in the field has hit it better than me. I have just probably putted the worst in the entire field, which is quite frustrating."

After holing a 20-footer on the finishing hole—the longest putt he made all day by a significant margin—Koepka was five shots back of Shane Lowry, at 9-under for thhe tournament, when he signed his scorecard. 

Koepka's playing partner, Justin Rose, shot a 68 that could not have been more different from Koepka's. Rose made a number of putts in the 10-20 foot range and squeezed everything out of his round, whereas Koepka will leave feeling like 67 is the worst score he could have shot. 

The Open is the only major Koepka has not finished second or better in, with his best finish coming in the form of a T6 at Royal Birkdale in 2016. He is going to need to shoot something in the mid-60s to have a chance on Sunday and hope the leaders move backward on a day forecasted to have severe weather. 

He's not counting himself out.

"It's gonna be an advantage for me, with the fact that I feel like I'm striking the ball well," Koepka said of the difficult conditions expected on Sunday. "And I'm so far back, they're going to have difficult conditions ... I need a chance, and hopefully that'll be to my benefit. 

 

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)