Brooks Koepka declared his health issues a thing of the past as he makes one final start before the Masters.
Plagued for more than a year by knee and hip injuries, Koepka told reporters Wednesday at the Vivint Houston Open that he’s “physically fine” and just needs to get tournament sharp.
“I feel great; I feel better than I did even three weeks ago at Vegas. That’s behind me now,” he said. “I feel as good as ever, and I just go out and play. I need some reps just because it feels like it’s been so long. That’s why we’re playing this week.”
Well, among other reasons, as Koepka was a player consultant for Memorial Park, the Tom Doak-renovated muni that is hosting a Tour event for the first time since 1963. Koepka described the course as “very tough” but one that should provide some excitement over the closing stretch.
Even if Koepka has an edge in course knowledge, he’s played competitively only once over the past three months. During the time away he underwent another round of stem-cell treatment on his left knee and received a cortisone injection in his ailing left hip. In his first start back, three weeks ago, he tied for 28th at the CJ Cup and then returned to Southern California for more treatment and rehabilitation.
Having slipped to 12th in the world, Koepka has only a pair of top-10s in 14 starts this year. Asked what he needs to see from his game to let him know he’s ready for the Masters, he sounded typically confident.
“I’ve seen everything I need to see,” he said. “I’m physically fine. You can’t judge a player when they’re hurt, and I’ve been pretty bad this year. ... Now it’s in a position where everything feels good, everything feels solid, and I can actually do what I want to do. I can finally hit the shots I want to hit – hit draws, high draws, low fades, whatever. I feel like I can actually shape the ball, and I definitely have more confidence now that I can get on my left side.”