Brooks Koepka looked lost for much of 2020 on the golf course. He simply was not the player we became accustomed to seeing over the past several years. But then, at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude invitational, he seemed to be clicking once again. And just in time, too, with the year’s first major the following week.
Through three rounds at the PGA Championship, Koepka looked to be back. He wasn’t leading the event, but he was within striking distance, and many picked the two-time defending champion to make it a three-peat. On Sunday, he regressed to his 2020 mean, tumbling down the leaderboard on his way to a final-round 74.
So, what exactly happened to cause such an uncharacteristic showing from Koepka? According to him, there’s a specific swing fault at blame.
“Struggled a little bit getting on my left side on Sunday,” Koepka said after his first round at the Wyndham Championship. “Just didn’t quite have it, you know? Felt like the first time I haven’t had it in a while at a major.”
Prior to his Sunday collapse, when it looked like Koepka had finally figured it out, he mentioned that when looking at swing videos, he and his coaches had determined that he wasn’t getting his weight shifted to his front side. He added that he had adjusted his setup to make it easier to shift his weight, shifting his left foot a couple inches back.
“We were kind of looking at some things, and at impact I’m about 70 percent on my left side,” Koepka said at the PGA. “When we were looking at it, it was the opposite. It was 70 percent on the right side. We knew what we had to do was get on that left side.”
But getting to that front side is not so easy when battling the kind of knee injury that has been nagging the four-time major winner since last October. Though Koepka had it figured out for a few rounds, it appears those struggles have begun to creep up once again. He followed the deflating Sunday performance in San Francisco with another lackluster showing in the first round of the Wyndham, posting two over.
Koepka currently sits 93rd in the FedEx Cup standings, and the only reason he continues to push it is to try to qualify for the Tour Championship in Atlanta. With a bum knee and floundering game, that doesn’t seem likely, and even Koepka admitted that some time off might do him some good.
“My body’s nowhere near 100 percent,” Koepka said. “It would be nice to have a couple weeks off to kind of get ready for the U.S. Open.”