In recent months we’ve seen a number of the world’s top golfers brought back down to earth. Former number ones in the men’s game have been reduced to also-rans while they nurse a combination of injuries and a subsequent lack of form.
Currently, golf is experiencing a hiatus, and with the Coronavirus pandemic forcing postponements and cancellations across the sporting world, we’re not entirely sure whether the four Majors and the Ryder Cup will go ahead in 2020. But if and when they do come back onto the calendar, one man will have surely benefited from the extended break.
Brooks Koepka is already a four-time Major Champion, but the 29-year-old has cut a rather forlorn figure on the fairways in recent tournaments. Koepka has played down the seriousness of his knee injury, and while he’s been relaxed and joking with playing partners at times, he’s been visibly hobbling on other occasions. That’s an obvious concern.
The postponement of the US Masters may, therefore, be timely for Brooks. It’s a tournament that he’s yet to win and if it is played in 2020, it’s likely that Augusta will be pushed back as the final Major of the season. Koepka can, therefore, look to focus on events where he has tasted victory in the past, including the PGA Championship where he will be targeting a third straight success in this tournament.
He doesn’t, however, have the complete backing of the sportsbooks. In Koepka’s absence, Rory McIlroy reclaimed the number one slot in the world rankings and, according to the golf betting odds from bet365, the Northern Irishman will start as favourite in each Major at 8/1. Koepka will be highly rated, but Rory is the man in form.
Golf betting offers pointers, but it’s relatively rare for the favourite to deliver, so should we be backing Brooks this season?
Raising his game
Koepka has this enviable ability to raise his game for the Major Championships. Few will back Brooks with any confidence on the regular circuit, but when one of the big four comes around, he’s always in the frame.
Going into 2020, the 29-year-old had four major wins to his name – two in the US Open and two in the PGA Championship. If we add a second place at the Masters in 2019 and a fourth at the Open Championship in the same year, it’s a seriously impressive record, and those four victories make up more than half of Koepka’s wins on the PGA Tour. The question is, can he add to the haul this year?
Bucking the Trend
Former world number one Jordan Spieth has experienced an alarming slump in form since winning the Open Championship in 2017. Spieth has failed to add to his list of titles in nearly three years while Dustin Johnson is also struggling to get back to his best following injury.
Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka has been insisting that his knee problem is fully healed. There hasn’t been much evidence of that on the fairways, but this enforced break can only help the four-time Major winner to add to his trophy haul.