PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – You wouldn’t know Brooks Koepka missed the cut Friday at the Honda Classic.
You wouldn’t know he made two more double bogeys in the second round, to go with the double bogey and triple bogey he made in the first round.
You wouldn’t know he didn’t come close to playing the weekend, with his pair of 74s leaving him five shots off the cut line.
He sounded like a man who doesn’t feel that far away from getting himself ready to add to his four major championships.
“I struck it really well,” Koepka said Friday, before heading to his nearby home for the rest of the weekend. “Really pleased with how I'm hitting it.”
So, move along, folks, there’s nothing to see here, not if you’re looking for signs Koepka's left knee still isn’t right, if you’re looking for evidence the knee might keep Koepka from making magic again, with the another major championship season just around the corner.
“Yeah, everything is good,” Koepka said. “No complaints. It has nothing to do with my knee.”
This missed cut was mostly about his putting, he said.
There’s still rust to be worked off.
“I think I've played, what, 18 rounds since August?” Koepka said.
Actually, 14 rounds since the start of the new year, but we get his point.
“Just need to pick it up a little bit, pick up the pace, give it maybe a little bit more touch around the greens, a little bit more feel.” Koepka said. “But the way I'm striking it, I'm very pleased. I feel very happy with it.”
As proof his knee is fine, Koepka said Friday that he has committed to playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week. That means he’s going to play five weeks in a row before taking a week off to play the Masters. He’s going to go from the API to The Players, the Valspar Championship and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Koepka was right about his putting. It wasn’t good at PGA National. He was 141st in strokes gained: putting for the week when he signed his scorecard.
Koepka said when he did miss a shot this week, PGA National’s stern design severely punished it.
“I just end up in the worst place possible,” he said. “It is very easy out here to turn a decent round into what can be a little bit of a disaster and you can rack up some big numbers pretty quickly.”
Yeah, Koepka hit four shots in the water over the first two rounds.
And, yeah, he told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis two weeks ago that the knee injury that shut down his season last fall was a lot worse than he let on. He told Lewis he didn’t know if the knee “will ever be 100 percent.”
So, this run of five consecutive weeks of play, and then his start at the Masters, a bid to improve his second-place finish at Augusta National last year, will give more weight to Koepka’s words, whether they be what he told Lewis about the severity of the injury, or what he said this week about the knee being stable and feeling good again.