Healthier Koepka still hungry for individual honours

Ronan MacNamara

Brooks Koepka (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Rónán MacNamara in Oman.

After three years of injury struggles, Brooks Koepka insists he still has a burning desire to win individual titles and has not lost his dedication to golf.

Koepka, now playing on the LIV Tour, is making his second competitive appearance of 2023 at the Asian Tour’s International Series Oman as he warms up for the opening LIV event in Mayakoba at the end of the month. The four-time major champion is captain of his team Smash GC and admits the lure of winning individual titles as well as the team competitions is attractive.

“If I win then my team has a better chance of winning the team title and the same if one of the guys on my team wins,” said the former World Number One. “The desire is still there, it’s not lost, winning is pretty fun. 

“My preparation is still the same anywhere I tee it up my preparation doesn’t change. What I do here is what I’ll do at Augusta so it’s the same type of stuff. No dedication is lost I can promise you that.”

Koepka has battled persistent knee injuries over the last three years but after winning his first LIV title in Jeddah in October when beating his former European Tour colleague Peter Uihlein in a playoff, he believes a healthier and more successful 2023 is in store. 

“It was nice to finally win one again, it had been a while, Injuries had a big part to play in that. I haven’t been healthy for three years – left knee and right knee. It feels good to be healthy and a lot of confidence at the end of last year. I started to play exactly how I wanted to and I can see it now. Hitting it further and moving the way I want to for the first time in three years. 

“I’ve had some good results and it’s about burning some rust off and see where we’re at.” 

Koepka addressed the media after the Wednesday morning pro-am at Al Mouj Golf and he was thoroughly impressed with the condition of the golf course and feels it could be the best on the Asian Tour this season.

“This is a great golf course, it’s phenomenal the greens are quite firm, a lot firmer than I thought they would be. The putting surfaces are very true and the fairways are in great shape they are firm enough. I’ve been very impressed with the shape it’s in and this might be one of the better golf courses we see.”

Koepka tees off at 12.20 local time alongside Chile’s Mito Pereira and Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjara.

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