Brooks Koepka is known as one of the fittest players on the PGA Tour, but the four-time major winner is struggling to run, ride a bike or pound balls on the driving range to fine-tune a game that has gone astray.
It’s all due to a lingering issue with his left knee.
The former No. 1 player has one top-10 finish in eight starts on Tour since aggravating the knee injury last October. Koepka also has no time to go under the knife again.
Title defenses, playoffs and majors
Not with consecutive title defenses coming up followed by the FedEx Cup Playoffs – which he is in a dogfight just to qualify for.
“The tear has to be worse to go under the knife, but we’ll see how it goes,” he said Wednesday. “We’ll see when my season ends and go get stem cell again most likely and figure it out from there.”
Koepka is the defending champion at this week’s WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational and next week’s PGA Championship. Few expect him to be in contention with one top-10 since the Tour resumed play and coming off a missed cut at the 3M Open, which most of the world’s top players skipped.
Koepka has acknowledged the knee has been an issue in recent weeks. He provided more details on Wednesday, saying that he has trouble moving his weight onto his left leg or working out as he is accustomed to.
“It will get sore if I beat balls long enough, and I’ve had some lengthy range sessions over the past two weeks where it’s been five-plus hours,” he said. “I’ll come back, I’ll ice it. It limits what I can do.
“I can’t run. I take these little steps and try to do it very quickly. That’s kind of my run right now. Biking, I can do it like once a week without it really flaring up and getting too painful. Can’t do much cardio.
“But it’s definitely changed a lot of things for me, that’s for sure.”
Outside looking in on FedEx Cup playoffs
It seems almost unfathomable that a four-time major winner in the prime of his career could miss out on the playoffs. But Koepka is on the outside looking in with three weeks remaining.
He is currently 136th in the FedEx Cup standings and needs to get into the top 125 just to qualify for the first leg.
Then there’s the U.S. Open in September and the Masters in November.
“It’s definitely been frustrating,” he admitted. “It will test you mentally, but at the same time, I’m looking at it as a challenge and something where I know I’m going to – it will turn around eventually. It’s going to turn around.
“You don’t work that hard for nothing. Starting to see signs of it. Now it’s just about going and doing it. Whether it be this week, next week, a month from now, two months from now, whatever it’s going to be, it will pay off.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)