Koepka (T-4) thrives despite 'numb' ankle


SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – After playing 36 holes on a bum ankle at the PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka appeared eager to find a seat.

“It hurts right now. It’s numb, dude,” Koepka said of his ankle after a final-round 70 at Baltusrol Golf Club. “I don’t even feel my foot. The outside of it is pretty numb.”

Koepka withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and missed The Open after rolling his right ankle, and he admitted that on Tuesday he was “70-30 on not playing” in the season’s final major.

But after extensive work with his trainer – not to mention a daily wrap job and sizeable splint – Koepka both played and thrived on the Lower Course, notching a T-4 finish. It matched his career best finish in a major, and also came after a long day on a soggy layout during Sunday’s finale.

“It was sore. I would have liked to have played four days of 18 (holes),” he said. “That would have been nice, wouldn’t have been as sore. Hard to get off my right side that whole back nine, I felt like I was hanging back on it, couldn’t really push off it.”

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Koepka plans to play next week at the Travelers Championship, but he said he could be a game-time decision once again based on how his ankle responds to therapy.

“We’ve got to assess where we are tonight and tomorrow. I’ve got to see where I’m at,” he said. “The plan was to play it. We’re already here, so we’re going to hang around and see how it is, see how it feels. We probably won’t know until right before.”

Koepka’s high finish also goes a long way toward securing his first-ever spot on a Ryder Cup team. He entered the week at No. 9 in the standings with only the top eight qualifying, but he racked up 810,000 points this week since majors count for double points.

It’s a haul that should move him well inside the bubble, and although qualifying won’t officially end until after The Barclays, Koepka is confident that he’ll be on the team at Hazeltine come September.

“I won’t need a pick,” he said.