Brooks Koepka Withdraws From U.S. Open

That sucks.

Jim Rome
September 10, 2020 - 11:52 am
Brooks Koepka

USA Today

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Since its return in June—golf has been so damn good. From Bryson Dechambeau getting ridiculously jacked only to complain his life was in danger because of a single fire ant—to Collin Morikawa ripping the season’s first major with the brassiest eagle of all-time—to Rahmbo jugging one from 66-feet out to walk-it-off in a playoff—all the way to Dustin Johnson stacking 20 mill in 29 days in the most dominating month we’ve seen since the Cat wrapped his Escalade around a tree.

Aside from Con-Artist Phil—aka Thefty—shamelessly swinging by the Senior Tour to beat up on a bunch of old dudes for 400-grr—golf in 2020 has been fantastic.

So it brings me great displeasure to announce on this show that 4-time major winner, and 2-time US Open champ, Brooks Koepka—will not be playing at Winged Foot next week.

Saying something sucks isn’t a take—but that sucks.

And I don’t care if you love the guy or can’t stand him. And personally I love the dude:  There’s no denying that he’s the most captivating watch at the majors the last four years. Because the dude has a switch the likes of which we’ve seen before. And I know Tiger-Honk wants to come up in here and start going Elin on me with a lob wedge—but it’s true.

I’m not taking anything from the Cat. But the guy didn’t play favorites. He’d treated every golf tournament the same in his prime. He wanted them all just as bad as the four big ones.

Brooks, on the other hand—is on record multiple times saying he gets bored at non-majors. And that they don’t mean as much to him. And he can’t get himself as amped and as dialed when the biggest titles aren’t on the line.

So—yeah—I’ll say it again. That’s a switch we’ve never seen. A dude openly admitting he cares less about non-majors but then can just go to a different level at will when he wants to.

Remember that stretch when he ripped 4 of them in 8 starts? Right. Don’t sleep on the fact that he finished in 2nd at Pebble last year when he was looking for the US Open three-peat. Or that he was 4th at the British just a season ago. Or that he finished one stroke behind the Cat at Augusta before that. Or that he came into Sunday at the PGA this year in the top-3 after 54 holes.

So there’s the four wins—and there’s the grip of close calls. And even though those close calls don’t count for anything—they still add up to an average finish of 9th place in the majors in 12 starts since 2017.

So let me say it again now that you’ve heard the facts—this guy is the most captivating watch at the majors right now. He just is.

But a lingering knee and hip injury is gonna cost him a shot at a third US Open next week. And as bad that sucks for golf—it’s even more concerning for Brooks. Because if this guy is missing majors, then you know it’s because he absolutely can’t go. And the fact he’s been rehabbing this knee for over a year—and had to lay down in the middle of fairways at Harding Park to get hip adjustments from a chiropractor mid-round—tells you it’s serious.

And given his workout regimens and how hard he swings—you just hope some time off will get him back to 100%. Especially since the Masters is two months away in November. And it’s unclear if we’ll see him back for that.

The other disappointment in him not being at Winged Foot next week is this storyline that took a hard left turn with Dustin Johnson.

For so many years the media hyped up this friendship as something that it wasn’t. And Brooks said so himself a few weeks back. And then he threw some shade at DJ before the final round of the PGA—saying that he wasn’t scared of running him down on Sunday because DJ had only won one major.  

Those comments got a ton of run because Brooks went out and fired 74. And BK-haters were finally able to say that the dude wrote a check his mouth couldn’t cash. Which was a first. And since then, DJ has been on top of the golf world and Brooks has been gone—withdrawing from the FedEx Cup playoffs and now the US Open.

So it would have been great to these two guys on the track together—both US Open champs—and not exactly the friends we all thought they were.

But that’ll have to wait. Because Brooks is out. Which is horrible news for him, and great news for everyone else. Because when a guy who won it in 2017 and 2018 and finished runner-up in 2019 isn’t there—it makes it that much more wide open for the rest of the field. Even it makes it less compelling for the rest of us.

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