NORTON, Mass. – It wasn’t an audition, but . . .
Brooks Koepka knew there was nothing coincidental about Davis Love III setting up a practice round with him Wednesday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Koepka is 19th on the U.S. Presidents Cup points list and looking to make the team that heads to South Korea next month. Love is one of the assistant captains under Jay Haas.
Koepka, 25, has impressed while making his run up the points list in the last eight months. After breaking through to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, Koepka lost some momentum after dislocating a rib, but he has heated up again through the summer. He had three consecutive finishes of sixth or better before missing the cut at The Barclays last week.
He finished fifth at the PGA Championship, T-10 at the British Open and T-18 at the U.S. Open.
While Koepka could qualify for the American team with a victory or second place finish this week, he also looms a captain’s pick candidate.
Wednesday’s practice round marked the first time Koepka and Love have played together. They also played with Dustin Johnson.
“I’m not saying it was a tryout or anything, but it’s always nice to get a chance to impress people who are making decisions about your future,” Koepka said.
Love said he has been trying to set up a practice round with Koepka since Koepka won in Phoenix.
“You hear how far he hits it, and how good a player he is,” Love said. “And I’ve watched him on TV. He was actually at Florida State when my son was there on a recruiting trip. So I’ve known about him a long time. I just didn’t want to go to Korea without getting to spend a little time with him.”
Love said he had one other goal setting up the round with Koepka.
“I wanted to see if I could get just one drive past him,” Love said.
“Yes, one,” Love said. “He flared one badly and I hit a good one.”