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Brooks Koepka: Knee not to blame for 'playing bad'

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Brooks Koepka isn’t blaming his FedExCup position on his knee.

Just poor golf.

In a pre-tournament news conference at the 3M Open, Koepka said his troublesome left knee felt as good as it has “in a really long” time Sunday at Muirfield Village, when he shot a final-round 80 and tied for 62nd at the Memorial.

Koepka said he can walk uphill without any discomfort but that “downhill is a pain. It’s where the patellar (tendon) extends, and just trying to adjust going down hills. Sunday was the best it’s felt. I don’t see it being an issue.”

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At No. 154 in the FedExCup standings, Koepka needs to make a move over the next three weeks – culminating with his three-peat attempt at the PGA Championship – if he wants to qualify for the playoffs. The 3M Open is his third of five consecutive tournaments.

Koepka had stem-cell treatment on his left knee last fall and missed three months at the end of the year. Last week an MRI exam revealed that there’s been no noticeable improvement.

Still, he said: “It’s not an excuse of why I’ve been playing bad, I can promise you that.”

For the season, Koepka is outside the top 100 in strokes gained: approach, around the green and putting. Of late he said he’s been undone by costly short-side misses. Down to No. 7 in the world ranking, he has just one top-15 finish in nine starts this year.

“I just need to play good,” he said. “I’ve played so bad lately. Just trying to find things. Every week I feel like the results aren’t there, but it’s getting better and better. My good shots are good, but I’ve got to bring that bottom level up.”