AUGUSTA, Ga. – At a quarter past three, Brooks Koepka sauntered onto the practice ground Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club.
Whether he walks to the first tee for the first round of the Masters isn’t guaranteed.
The former world No. 1 and four-time major champion didn’t look the worse for wear 19 days after having surgery on his right knee as he hit 47 golf balls on the immaculate driving range alongside Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Brian Gay.
He then hit 33 putts before going out for an abbreviated practice round with Hovland, the plan being the two would play holes 1, 2, 8 and 9.
“All good,” Koepka said as he walked to the registration center. “(I’m) all right.”
Koepka, who has missed playing time due to injuries to his ankle in 2016, wrist in 2018 and left knee in 2020, suffered ligament damage and dislocated his right kneecap in a fall in early March. He had surgery in California on March 16 and did rehab in the Golden State.
Koepka last played when he tied for second in the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession at the end of February. Koepka dealt with a stiff neck during the tournament. The world No. 12 won his eighth PGA Tour title the first week of February in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Koepka missed the 2018 Masters because of a wrist injury. He finished in a tie for second – one shot behind Tiger Woods – in 2019 and tied for seventh in the November Masters in 2020.
Koepka missed the 2020 U.S. Open because of injuries to his left leg. Koepka won the U.S. Open 2017 and 2018 and finished runner-up in 2019.
He won the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019.
In a text to Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch following his surgery to his right knee, Koepka said he didn’t know when he’d make his next start, writing: “Whatever my body says, I’m going to listen.”
After his surgery in March, Koepka posted photos to his Twitter and Instagram accounts showing he was using crutches and his right knee was bandaged. The caption read: “Only 1 way to go from here,” with an arrow pointing up.