Brooks Koepka, who won this major in 2017 and 2018, has been struggling with knee problems throughout the duration of the golf season. It’s been a while since Koepka, currently World No 8, has played in a golf tournament.
In fact, he has not been seen on a course since he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship on Aug. 14. He was supposed to play in The Northern Trust (it would have been his seventh consecutive start) but pulled out on the eve of the tournament due to lingering hip and knee injuries.
Koepka, a four-time major winner was ranked a lowly 97th in the FedEx Cup standings when he withdrew from the first play-off event, with only the top 70 after the Northern Trust advancing to the BMW Championship. Following his season-ending withdrawal last month, Koepka’s manager said that Koepka planned to rest the next few weeks “to ensure that he’s ready to go for the start of the 2020-21 season”.
Koepka's knee-injury causes another setback
Koepka has been struggling with a left knee injury for quite some time now. It saw him sidelined for three months last season and he needed on-course treatment to his hip during his title defence at the US PGA Championship in San Francisco last month.
In 2019 he underwent a stem-cell procedure on his left knee and missed the final few months after a setback. Although he didn’t play his A-game this year, recording just two top-25s in 13 starts, he didn’t necessarily blame his performance on his achy left knee.
Still, he admitted his issues were "physical." "I know how to do it, I can do it," he said at the Wyndham. "I just physically can't do it." Koepka has also now withdrawn from the US Open, which will start next Thursday.
He said on Twitter “Unfortunately, I have decided to withdraw from next week’s U.S Open. I’m looking forward to getting healthy and competing at 100% again very soon”. The 30-year-old American, winner of four major titles, still has a chance to add to that number at this years Masters, which has been postponed until November due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Koepka was replaced in the U.S. Open field by Englishman Paul Waring, the first alternate as determined by the world ranking as of Aug. 23. Koepka did not say when he hoped to return to competition, only that he looked forward to "competing at 100% again very soon." The Masters begins Nov. 12.