Koepka charges into contention at WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
August 01, 2020
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Brooks Koepka’s Round 3 highlights from WGC-FedEx St. Jude
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Is Brooks Koepka back? It appears that way.
He fought his way into contention at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational thanks to six birdies in his final 10 holes Saturday. When he walked off the golf course, he said his ball-striking is the best it’s been since his win in last year’s PGA Championship.
Koepka, who shot 68 on Saturday, will enter the final round three shots behind leader Brendon Todd. Koepka leads the field in both Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and greens in regulation.
He’s had just one top-10 this season, and is coming off a missed cut at last week’s 3M Open. That may have been a blessing in disguise, though, because it gave him extra time to work with one of his coaches, Pete Cowen. It was the first time Koepka and Cowen, an Englishman, had seen each other since THE PLAYERS in March.
“The changes we made are only five, six days old now, so every day is getting more and more comfortable,” said Koepka, who’s seeking his first win since TPC Southwind last year.
Koepka also started working with putting coach Phil Kenyon this week and came out of the gates with a stellar putting performance in his first-round 62. Several short misses marred his 71 on Friday, but his putting was better Saturday. Koepka said alignment was the culprit. He’s 52nd in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Koepka was 2 over early in the third round after making double-bogey on the second hole for the second consecutive day. He added another bogey at 6, but started to heat up during the mid-point of the round. He made four consecutive birdies on putts of less than 10 feet. It started with a 6-foot birdie putt at No. 9. He knocked his approach to 7 inches on 10, rolled in an 8-footer on 11 and sank a 9-footer on 12.
He holed a 22-footer from the fringe on 14 (which doesn’t count toward Strokes Gained: Putting) and birdied the par-5 16th before making bogey on the next hole.
“I knew it was kind of coming around,” Koepka said. “It was kind of a matter of time and that's why I've been playing every week. I think sometimes you've got to play your way into it and I've done that. I feel very comfortable with what I'm doing, changes we made. It feels honestly like it did last year around this time.”