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Perhaps we should have known Brooks Koepka was destined to win on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. After all, the first rule of the Book of Brooks — thou shalt not doubt thy shoulder’s chip — dictates Koepka is at his most dangerous in moments when he is most slighted. When factoring for the crowd, which was among the loudest of any in the last 12 months, it seems silly we thought anyone other than Brooks would wind up the victor.
Koepka was at his best down the stretch at TPC Scottsdale Sunday. He smashed drives, drained putts and, in the tournament’s biggest moment, even chipped in for eagle. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Brooks Koepka be Brooks Koepka — his 2020 season mired by injury and discomfort — but his reaction to the win said it all.
“There was a period maybe for about two months where I just questioned whether I was ever going to be the same,” Koepka said. “Whether I was even going to be somewhat remotely the same golfer that I ever was.”
In the wake of his first win since the WGC-St. Jude Invitational in 2019, Koepka recalled the lower-body injuries that cost him much of his 2020 season. Months of rehab, including a PRP injection that kept him out of the U.S. Open, finally paid dividends. The four-time major champ rounded into form in the final months of 2020.
“We stuck with it,” he recalled. “Those dark places, a lot of tears, questioning yourself, and in dark places mentally. You’ve got to come out of that.”
There’s a lot different about Koepka from the version that conquered his second straight PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in 2019. One of the biggest changes, though, has nothing to do with surgery or injury.
Koepka is one of the golf world’s biggest-name equipment free agents. As such, he has the freedom to play whichever brands he pleases, whenever he pleases. Recently, he swapped out the Mizuno JPX 919 Tour irons that starred in several of his biggest wins in favor of Srixon’s new ZX7 irons, and to great success. Koepka outperformed the field by 12.79 strokes on the par-4s at TPC Scottsdale, the fourth-best number at the Waste Management in the last decade and a half.
The ZX7s have become fast-risers in the equipment world since hitting retail last month thanks to a unique design element called MainFrame. The AI-designed pattern provides a unique look versus tour-style blades that Srixon says helps to boost ball speeds and add distance. The irons are forged from 1020 carbon steel and feature v-shaped sole grinds to help increase turf interaction and progressive grooves for enhanced playability as you work further down the set.
The result is a players iron that delivers not only in workability but also in precision. Koepka approves.
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