CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brooks Koepka didn’t shoot the day’s lowest round at The Open but he certainly earned himself some bounce-back points, following an opening nine of 41 with a closing loop of 31, for a 1-over 72.
Koepka, one of this week’s favorites at Carnoustie following his victory at last month’s U.S. Open, got off to a solid start with a birdie at the first hole, but he made a mess of the par-5 fifth hole for a double bogey and faded even further with another double bogey at the eighth hole.
After his tee shot found an awkward lie in a greenside bunker at No. 8, Koepka hit his second shot from his knees. He failed to clear the lip of the bunker and had to hit his next shot, which he also failed to get out of the bunker, from his knees as well.
“The first one, I should have made sure it was on the green. The second one, there was a whole bunch of crap behind my ball,” Koepka said. “It was a bad lie, and I felt like there was something laying behind it, and I felt like I didn't even hit the ball. It happens.”
But after making the turn at 5 over par, Koepka rebounded with birdies at Nos. 10, 12, 13 and 14. Although his 1-over card left him tied for 50th place, the two-time major champion said he felt like his game was where it needed to be.
“Even that five-hole stretch I had, I felt like I played really well. Sometimes links golf just isn't the most rewarding on good shots,” he said. “Obviously, I felt like I played better than a 72, but I'll take it [after going] 6 over in five holes.”