Koepka adopting Challenge Tour mentality in pursuit of best form

John Craven
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Koepka adopting Challenge Tour mentality in pursuit of best form

Brooks Koepka (Photo: Getty Images)

Former world number one Brooks Koepka is on the hunt for some overdue form at this week’s 3M Open.

The four-time major champion has been struggling to find his best stuff after coming through knee surgery in October with just one top-10 finish to his name since.

A final round 80 at last week’s Memorial Tournament showed little light at the end of the tunnel but the now 30-year old insists that although it’s been bad to date, he can feel an improvement in his play.

“I just need to play good,” Koepka said to Sky Sports. “I’ve played so bad lately. Yeah, just trying to find things. Every week I feel like the results aren’t there, but it’s getting better and better.

“My good shots are good, but I’ve just got to bring that bottom level up. I’ve hit some real costly shots. I seem to miss it short-sided every time and that’s been kind of the downfall of why I haven’t played well.

“I missed it in very costly spots and just trying to figure out why that is. If I can bring the misses up, I’ll be fine.”

It’s a big stretch of events upcoming for Koepka as he looks to play his way into form. While the defence of his WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational next week will mean plenty, it’s the opportunity for an unprecedented hat-trick of PGA Championship wins that is sure to be lingering at the forefront of his mind.

Still, Koepka maintains that his focus is on the present, accepting that his results and lowly FedEx Cup ranking (154) allows for little else. That’s why he’s choosing to fight his way into form, channeling his Challenge Tour roots and that fast-paced, cut-throat environment that made him the fierce competitor he is today.

“Right now, if things ended today, I’m not even in the play-offs, so I need to step it up and start playing well and get back to what I know I can do,” Koepka added.

“By the end of the PGA [Championship], I was going to see how I feel. I probably have to go back to Challenge Tour days playing this many in a row, going five to seven weeks in a row and then trying to take a week off.

“That was, what, six, seven years ago, so it’s been a while since I played this many in a row. But, at the same time, I’ve had some weekends off, so it hasn’t been too bad yet. Just frustration, playing bad.

“Every round I get to play I’m just trying to find that little something. Everybody knows that golf’s that game where you make one good swing and everything clicks and it’s like all right, back to normal, so [I’m] just trying to find that and keep battling through it.”

Seamus Power is the only Irishman in the field this week. The West Waterford golfer will be hoping to build on his tied for 12th result at the recent Rocket Mortgage Classic. Power sits in 179th spot on the FedEx standings.

 

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