Brooks Koepka laments ‘unfortunate’ course conditions at TPC Twin Cities

Brooks Koepka got off to a solid start at the inaugural 3M Open Thursday, making five birdies en route to a 4-under 67. After his round, he praised the TPC Twin Cities layout — but lamented some of the conditions.

“The course is good. Tell you what, for as much rain as they’ve had, it’s held up really nicely,” he said. “You know, unfortunately, there’s a lot of ball marks and a lot of divots on the golf course, so it looks like it’s been played a lot, it’s had a lot of traffic over the last couple weeks, months, which is kind of unfortunate.

“But, I mean, the golf course, I think it’s one of the best we play all year. I think I really like it. It’s a place I want to come back to. I enjoy the layout and the setup of this place.”

Because TPC Twin Cities has never appeared on the PGA Tour schedule, this week marks a first look at the layout for nearly every competitor. Koepka said in the lead-up to the event that he appreciates the level playing field that puts everyone on.

“It takes away the advantage guys have of years of playing it, knowing where to miss it. You’ve got to do your homework in three days or, if you came early on site to visit it, it kind of definitely levels it out a little bit, especially if you’re a rookie. I think if I was a rookie, I’d play all the events I could that were brand new on the schedule.”

Koepka said in the lead-up to the U.S. Open that as a competitor, he doesn’t view any course setups as “bad” or “great” because regardless, every player has to deal with it and play. But he hinted this week that he has an eye towards architecture, in part fueled by his work on a Houston public course where he’s been assisting Tom Doak.

“It’s fun to play different golf courses. You never know what you come across, what you might like, especially designing Memorial Park or helping Tom [Doak] do stuff like that, so I kind of got into a little bit of the golf course design. So the more golf courses I see, it’s more fun for me on that aspect,” he said.

Koepka’s appearance at the first-ever playing of the event marks his first return to Minnesota since the 2016 Ryder Cup, which marked his national team debut.

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