Can Brooks Koepka recover his form in time for the 2020 US Open?
There’s no doubt the last year has been tough for Brooks Koepka, as he struggles to overcome a troublesome knee injury. Playing through the pain in an attempt to recover his form, the American golfer has endured great difficulties recapturing his rhythm on the fairways.
According to a report published by ESPN following the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, 30-year-old Koepka was observed to be in some considerable discomfort, particularly following one shot from a bunker on the 17th hole. Despite grimacing with pain as he climbed out of the bunker, Koepka still managed to complete the third round and just made the cut. However, in the final round he was 8-over par and near the bottom of the leaderboard.
Having had an MRI scan on his left knee following the tournament, Koepka admitted that the same injury persists and doesn’t seem to be getting any better. He was originally diagnosed with having suffered a partially torn patella, before undergoing stem cell treatment in August 2019. While that seemed to improve his condition, unfortunately, Koepka slipped while playing at the CJ Cup in South Korea in October last year, tearing the same patella again.
Since then, it’s clear the injury is having a serious effect on Koepka’s form. As he works through a busy schedule of tournaments over the next couple of months, fans will be hoping there are signs of improvement ahead of the US Open at Winged Foot in September. Over the last three years, Koepka played some of the best golf of his career at the US Open, winning back to back tournaments in 2017 and 2018, before finishing second to Gary Woodland in 2019.
Ahead of his next opportunity, Koepka is priced at 12/1 in the golf betting odds to win the 2020 US Open, with Rory McIlroy currently tipped as the 10/1 favourite. Currently ranked as the top golfer in the world, following his victory at the Memorial Tournament, Spanish golfer Jon Rahm is 14/1 and also expected to perform well at Winged Foot.
While the chance to win major tournaments will always be a priority for Koepka, first and foremost, he will be focused on his fitness. If his left knee continues to cause problems, there’s always the chance that further surgery and treatment may be required.
Despite recent comments from Koepka highlighted by the Golf Channel, lamenting that his knee problems were “still the same” as before, he doesn’t have plans to withdraw from upcoming events. Likewise, if his Twitter account is any indication and even in the midst of disappointing form, Koepka is keen to maintain his sense of humour.
Indeed, the struggles of late also appear to make Koepka more determined than ever. To get the playing rhythm and competitiveness back, “you’ve got to play your way into it,” he insists. Although defending his titles at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and the PGA Championship looks unlikely, he will still be participating at those tournaments.
By the time the US Open commences in late September of this year, hopefully, the knee recovery will have progressed and Koepka will be in a much stronger physical situation, ready to challenge again for one of the most prestigious major championships in golf.