Rory McIlroy on Brooks Koepka’s withdrawal: ‘We’ve all seen his physical struggles’

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka at FedEx Cup

World number three Rory McIlroy has backed Brooks Koepka’s decision to withdraw from this week’s Northern Trust event, effectively ending his PGA Tour season.

Koepka has struggled with a left knee injury which saw him sidelined for three months last season and also needed on-course treatment to his hip during his title defence at the PGA Championship in San Francisco.

He will hope to regain full fitness in time for the US Open at Winged Foot from September 17-20, and McIlroy reckons Koepka’s decision to bring his season to an early end is probably the right one.

Brooks is one of the biggest names in the game,” McIlroy said.

“We’ve all seen his physical struggles since last year. He had the knee injury, then he slipped in Korea, and he’s sort of struggled with it ever since.

“It’s maybe never a good time, but it’s a better time than any other time to get it right. Take a few weeks off and try to get himself ready for the US Open (September 17-20), and then the Masters (November 12-15) coming up as well.

“It’s probably smart. He’s just played six or seven weeks in a row, which takes a toll on your body anyway, but if you’re struggling with an injury, even more so.

“I think it’s smart on his part to do that and hopefully he comes back healthy and comes back ready to play.”