On the 10th hole at East Lake, Koepka faced a shot from the rough on the right side of the hole. Though he was near a tree, there didn’t appear to be any visible roots near his ball, but according to NBC Sports’ Steve Sands, who spoke with Koepka and his caddie Ricky Elliott in the locker room, Koepka hit a tree root and felt pain immediately.
NBC on-course reporter Jim “Bones” Mackay visited the site of Koepka’s shot on No. 10 and reported on the tournament broadcast that the root was a sizeable one.
Koepka tried to play on after the shot, ultimately bogeying the 10th and parring Nos. 11 and 12, but he decided to head in on No. 13. He was even par overall, which, at the time of his withdrawal was near the bottom of the leaderboard, T26.
It’s been a season of injury for the four-time major champion. Koepka missed the cut at the Masters just weeks after undergoing surgery on his knee, and it was still somewhat fragile during his PGA Championship run with Phil Mickelson.
Koepka is one of six automatic qualifiers on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Whether or not this injury will affect his participation remains to be seen. The Ryder Cup begins on Friday, September 24 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.