‘The only problem is going to be the walking’
Injured Koepka says game ‘feels fine,’ but he still feels pain
April 06, 2021
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Brooks Koepka had right knee surgery less than a month before he'll tee it up at Augusta National. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Many wondered whether Brooks Koepka would compete in the Masters after last month’s Instagram post that showed him on crutches and his knee wrapped in bandages.
“Only one way to go from here,” Koepka wrote in the caption.
His road to recovery led to Augusta National, though his participation in this year’s Masters remained in question until he showed up on property Sunday.
“If I knew I was going to finish second, I wouldn’t have shown up,” he said Sunday. “I feel I can win. I’ll play, I’ll play. I’ll be all right.”
The four-time major winner is one of just four players to finish in the top-10 in the past two Masters. He was runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2019 and finished T7 in November.
After struggling with injuries the past few years, Koepka won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February -- his first win since the 2019 World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational -- and finished second in the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession later that month.
He hasn’t competed since. He suffered ligament damage and dislocated his right kneecap when he slipped and fell in early March. He had surgery March 16.
On Tuesday, Koepka declared his game “feels fine.” Walking the hilly property here is another issue. Going downhill puts extra pressure on his knee and Koepka said he may look a little awkward plucking his ball from the hole.
“I can't bend down. My knee doesn't go. … It's going to look funny, I know that. But what are you going to do?” he said Tuesday. “I’ve got to do it. No other option, is there?”
It takes him about three hours in the morning to prepare to play, he said, but “once I get going, it’s all right.” Away from the course, it’s about staying off his feet and controlling the swelling.
"He's in great shape," swing coach Pete Cowen told the Associated Press. "The only problem is going to be the walking. It's a tough course to walk."