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First alternate Koepka plays waiting game

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MARANA, Ariz. – Brooks Koepka rocked back in his chair and sighed, “It’s going to be a long day.” But he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Koepka, who was 68th in the world golf ranking when the field was set for this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, is the first alternate at Dove Mountain. He has resigned himself to the waiting game that is unique to the five-day event.

Koepka had planned all along to be onsite for this week’s event and there was a glimmer of hope when Steve Stricker suggested last week that he might not play in order to be at home with his brother, who had a liver transplant on Friday.

Stricker, however, headed out early on Wednesday and as the morning unfolded Koepka’s odds of playing his first World Golf Championship were diminishing. As Koepka headed to the range to stay warm, he smiled, “Let me know if you see anyone limping.”