Brooks Koepka doesn’t look a lot like the Brooks Koepka everyone has come to know.
At least on the golf course.
The former world’s No. 1, overtaken by Rory McIlroy, is three tournaments into his return after a lengthy time-off to rehab his injured left knee and so far the results indicate something isn’t right.
Koepka came back in Abu Dhabi to collect a fat seven-figure appearance fee and finished tied for 34th there. Two weeks later he collected another obese seven-figure appearance fee to tee it up in the controversial Saudi Invitational and he was an unimpressive 17th there.
Last week he barely made cut at the Genesis, made it by a shot at even par and finished tied for 43rd. He shot rounds of 69-73-68-74.
Koepka is skipping this week’s free-money WGC-Mexico event, he was hanging around in the San Francisco bay area Monday, doing some promo work for the PGA of America, hauling the Wanamaker Trophy around town, trying to get the media schmucks in a tizzy for the upcoming PGA Championship at Harding Park in May.
There were plenty of questions last week and Koepka’s latest assessment of his left knee didn’t sound all that good.
When asked how his recovery was progressing, the answer didn’t sound all that optimistic.
“It was a lot worse than we let on,” Koepka said. “I had a tear in the top and bottom of the patella and the kneecap had moved sideways and was going into the fat pad which was a lot of pain. I’m nowhere near 100 per cent, I don’t know if my knee will ever be 100 per cent. It’s one of those things where I’m just trying every day.”
Things were touchy when he arrived at Riviera.
“To be honest with you, Monday was the most pain I’ve had since I tore it. You have good days and you have bad days and you’ve just got to really watch it. Now it feels stable though. I don’t feel like my knee, when I’m walking, is going to go out to the left or go inside on me. It feels stable. It’s just strengthening things. But there’s still pain there.”
Next week’s event is The Honda in Koepka’s back yard. Will he play there — probably.
After that it’s Bay Hill then The Players. Will he play three weeks straight — probably not, which means he’ll most likely skip Bay Hill then re-emerge at The Players.
Koepka, since falling out of the No. 1 spot, may have a tough time staying at No. 2. Jon Rahm is bearing down on him. Koepka is at 8.80 in the rankings, Rahm’s at 8.47 and playing better than Koepka.
Rankings aside, it’s the knee issue that still remains.