Brooks Koepka figured he would get it out of the way and say what everyone else in the room was thinking — he choked during the final round of the Masters.
Koepka held the 54-hole lead but finished four shots behind winner Jon Rahm following a 3-over 75 on Sunday.
“It is choking, right? If you have a lead and cough it up, that’s choking,” Koepka said Wednesday ahead of the PGA Championship.
Those comments came on the heels of a ‘Pardon My Take’ podcast, during which Koepka said he would characterize his tie for second at the Masters as a choke.
“They were thinking it if I didn’t say it, so you might as well get it out there right away first so they can’t say anything,” Koepka said.
“I reflected all Sunday night (after the Masters). I didn’t sleep Sunday night just trying to figure out what exactly it was. Thought about it for a few days after and really honed in on what I was doing and what went wrong.
“But at the same time, I’m not dwelling on it. I’m not perfect. As long as I can learn from it, I’ll be better off from it.”
Koepka has capitalized on plenty of opportunities at majors, including consecutive victories at the PGA in 2018 and ’19. He then struggled with consistency over the next few years due to injuries. Koepka’s last victory on the PGA Tour came at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2021, and he left for LIV Golf last June.
Koepka said he was able to put in all of the work he wanted to in the gym over this past offseason to strengthen his surgically repaired knee, and the results have started to steadily roll in.
Before the runner-up finish at the Masters, he claimed his first LIV Golf win at Orlando. Since Augusta, Koepka has posted a T11, solo third and T5 in the past three LIV events.
A confident Koepka is a significant threat to everyone else in the 156-player field. He has four majors on his resume, including a pair of U.S. Opens, and compared the setup at Oak Hill to a mixture of a PGA and a U.S. Open.
It has been four long and mostly frustrating years since Koepka claimed the last of his four majors. He was on top of the world rankings at the time, and he believes that at full strength he can firmly put himself back among the game’s elite.
“I feel 100 percent, so there’s no reason why — right?,” he said. “I’m 33 now, and I think, what, your prime in golf is from when you are about from 30 to 40.
“I haven’t quite hit the middle of it. But I feel pretty good.”
–Field Level Media