A year later, Koepka’s mood much brighter during Honda week
February 27, 2019
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
Brooks Koepka at home in Florida before Honda
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – A year ago, Brooks Koepka was at home, sidelined with an injured left wrist, while The Honda Classic was being played just a few miles away. His mood – and his diet – were both going through a dark period.
“I was sitting on the couch, probably eating a bunch of food,” Koepka recalled. “I wasn’t doing a whole lot. I gained, I think, 15, 20 pounds. I was obviously upset. I just missed competition. It wasn’t fun for me.”
The wrist injury kept him out for four months and prevented him from playing the Florida Swing in March. He didn’t return until the week before THE PLAYERS Championship in May. Of course, you know how the rest of the season turned out -- two major victories and the PGA TOUR Player of the Year award.
All’s well that end’s well, perhaps, but those four months of inactivity for a player who was obviously ready to take the next step was tough.
“I didn’t watch any golf until Augusta, so I didn’t know what was going on,” Koepka said. “You make a lot of friendships, seeing a bunch of people out here, and you just don’t have that. You’re forgotten very quickly. That’s what it taught me.”
Nobody’s forgetting Koepka now, of course. He’s now starting his heavy stretch, having made just two starts since the calendar flipped to 2019. The most recent was last week at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, where Koepka finished T-27.
He’s among the favorites this week at PGA National, although his track record at this event is not something to celebrate – four starts, one missed cut, his best finish a T-27 in 2016. Before missing last year’s event, he missed the cut the year before.
“I haven’t had the best memories here,” said Koepka, who was born in West Palm Beach and now lives in Jupiter, just a few miles north of PGA National. “I was going through a bunch of stuff off the golf course two years ago and then last year not being able to play, so I’ve tried to put that all in the past and tried to move on.”
Despite the results, Koepka insists that PGA National is a course he likes. “I think it suits me really well, especially with the firm greens now. I think I’ve got a good chance.”
That last sentence seems like an understatement – especially given the fact he’s won four times (three majors and THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in Korea) since he last played The Honda Classic.
“I always had the confidence,” Koepka said. “I wasn’t lacking that. I feel like I’m borderline cocky when it comes to that, but everybody out here should expect to win. Everybody out here is borderline confident to cocky.
“Everytime you win, you’re going to build confidence, and if you’re on a nice little run like I was, you’re going to have a lot of it, and I feel like I’m still riding high on that. I’ve just been waiting for this Florida Swing for a while.”
Inside the PGA TOUR
The Honda Classic preview