‘I finally feel 100 per cent’ – World number one Brooks Koepka issues warning to rivals
World number one Brooks Koepka says he is feeling healthy and raring to go ahead of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
The American has had injury problems, with a knee complaint requiring stem cell treatment as well as a struggling with a wrist problem.
Koepka’s last victory came at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis in July, but he will likely be a strong contender to take the winner’s cheque of 1.26m US Dollars (£1.05m) along with the 500 FedEx Cup points in Nevada.
“It is nice to get back playing again, to try and get into that rhythm for the rest of the year,” said Koepka, who revealed he had the procedure shortly after the season-ending Tour Championship in August.
“I wasn’t healthy and had some stuff done on my knee, now I finally feel 100 per cent which is nice and hope I stay that way for the rest of the season.”
“It wasn’t surgery, it is stem cell (therapy), so they go in and inject it into my knee.
“I’m watching it on the screen, as they were doing it, and it was probably one of the most painful things, I was screaming when they did it.
“I limped out of there, and limped for another two to three days.”
Koepka may be top of the rankings, but that was not enough for time to land the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year vote, which went to Rory McIlroy.
“I don’t play for awards, I play to win. To win trophies, to win tournaments,” Koepka said.
“Yeah, it would have been great… but I think everyone in the room knows (basketballer) LeBron James has only won four MVPs, but I’m pretty sure he’s been the best player for more than four years.”
Koepka’s previous appearance at the tournament was in 2016, since when he has won the US Open and US PGA Championship twice as well as finishing second in last year’s Masters.
“At that time it was about trying to compete, now it is just about going out to win,” the American told a press conference.
“I have one goal, that is just to win, that is it. I enjoy the competition, I want to be the best.”
Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau is also in the field at TPC Summerlin, while Graham DeLaet is set to make his first tour start in nearly two years after major back surgery.
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