By Fatiha Betscher, Royal Greens GC, Saudi Arabia.
Four-time major winning Brooks Koepka returns to competition for a first time in 2023 this week revealing how his wife of some seven months, Jena was keen to kick him out of their matrimonial home in Florida and back to work.
The couple were married last June in a lavish ceremony on the Caribbean island of Turks and Caicos.
Koepka, 32, then celebrated his marriage four months later capturing a 16th pro career victory here at the Royal Green course in winning the individual side of the penultimate event of the inaugural LIV Golf series – The LIV Golf Invitational at Jeddah.
Since the end of the LIV season, Koepka’s simply been chilling out and enjoying one of the reasons why he signed with LIV Golf and that is a far reduced playing schedule.
“It’s been good as just having this break was important,” he said. “It was fun to hang out with my wife for three months. I think she was excited for me to get out of the house. It’s been good. It’s been fun. Just keep hanging at home, doing stuff. It’s simple, we’re never really home. We’re always on the road. Built a nice house a couple years ago, so it’s just nice to be able to enjoy it.
“I started playing maybe about two weeks ago, and just came back into rhythm, and obviously it’s nice to be back here, nice memories here, so hopefully a good week.”
And having had to fight injury in recent years, Koepka’s also sounding like he’s back to the health that has seen him not only capture four majors but also four other PGA Tour titles.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve felt like I’ve felt this good. Been about four years. Just excited to play, play healthy. Feel like I can play to my potential again, which is exciting,” he said.
“I feel like my game has been pretty good. My caddie came down last week and we had a good little practice session, and I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun. Some good stuff came out of it. Obviously it’s a little different when you’ve got a scorecard in your hand versus practicing, so it’ll be a good test this week just to kick it off and see where we’re at.”
Of course, the decision to allow those LIV players eligible to tee-up in this year’s Masters very much adds to Koepka’s desire to be fitted with an Augusta National members green jacket and, if successful, it would be a third individual major and a first in four years since his successful defence of the 2019 PGA Championship.
Koepka’s last win prior to joining LIV Golf was two years ago next week at the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open.
“My goal for 2023 is to just win as many times as you can,” he said. “That’s the goal. But yeah, I’ve got some that I’ve kind of just mentally ticked off, winning multiple times and winning a major. I think that’s always a goal going into every season, which is little things along the way. Just kind of make sure you’re reaching those goals.
“Technically just kind of how things have gone in the last nine, ten years in professional golf, I usually get off to a pretty slow start. You know, that’s part of the reason why you keep playing. Like I said, put a scorecard in your hand, play a few events, get some rounds under your belt before Augusta.”
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