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Koepka Monday qualifies, all but secures temporary membership

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AVONDALE, La. – Those seven FedEx Cup points? Brooks Koepka says he isn’t concerned.

“Good play takes care of itself,” he said Saturday after a third-round 67 put him inside the top 15 at the Zurich Classic.

Koepka, who turns 24 next week, needs to finish solo 64th or better this week to earn the seven FedEx Cup points he needs to secure temporary special membership on the PGA Tour, which would allow him to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season.

Koepka burned the last of his maximum seven invites at the Valero Texas Open, and his T-36 in San Antonio left him, essentially, two strokes shy of locking up the special membership.

After college, the former Florida State star had followed his South Florida roommate Peter Uihlein across the pond, as they tried to join the game’s elite by competing in Europe. Koepka won three Challenge Tour events to crack the top 100 in the world, and he had a chance to win this season’s Frys.com Open, eventually finishing in a tie for third.

Out of starts in the States, Koepka took two weeks off after San Antonio and visited his girlfriend in Houston.

“I needed a little break,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love golf, but I had a little bit too much of it. I needed a little time off, just recharge the batteries, mentally, physically, everything.”

Afterward, he flew back to South Florida to spend a few days with swing coach Claude Harmon III, then came here to try the Monday qualifier. He shot 64 in the 18-hole shootout to earn one of the four available spots, then began his Zurich Classic with 71-68-67 to virtually lock up the special membership.

“I figured, why not?” he said. “You’d just be sitting on your butt at home. I’d rather be out here with these guys.”

A top-10 finish at TPC Louisiana would put Koepka in next week’s Wells Fargo Championship. If not, he intends to play three European Tour events, beginning at the May 15-18 Spanish Open.