It’s been almost four months since Brooks Koepka has played on the PGA Tour—115 days to be exact.
After a Fall spent rehabbing his injured left knee, Koepka made his 2020 Tour debut on Thursday, though not many people are talking about it. Has there ever been a more talented, highly ranked, dominant player that simply gets overlooked?
It’s nothing new when it comes to Koepka. He’s been playing the under-appreciated chip-on-his-shoulder card all the way to four major titles, and after a two-week tune-up in the Middle East, the world No. 2, teed it up on U.S. soil for the first time since Oct. 7.
Koepka shot a ho-hum 2-under par 69 in round one of the Genesis Invitational, though he says the number was better than he actually played.
“I thought I hit it pretty poorly today,” Koepka said on Thursday afternoon
“Short game wasn't very good and didn't strike the ball well. I hit it great in the Middle East, kind of disappointed with how I showed up this week hitting it.”
With each of the top five players in the world and nine of the top 10 in the field, this week’s event has created a ton buzz. But while Tiger Woods looks to break the PGA Tour’s all-time wins record, and Rory McIlroy tries for his first win since being crowned the new No. 1 player in the world, Koepka is simply attempting to get his feet under him. It’s something he says could take some time.
“Sometimes it doesn't come right away, it just takes a few rounds,” Koepka said.
“I was only 10 days in when we started in the Middle East, so it wasn't like there was a lot of time, but I mean, I hit it great, I just needed to kind of play more and really get back on the greens and really understand what pace and line, all those things.
“I mean, you can practice it all you want, but at the same time, when the gun goes off, everything's a little different."
The gun has officially gone off for Koepka in 2020. He’s 5 shots off the lead, tied for 22nd and, lurking on the leaderboard. As usual, no one is talking about him.