Brooks Koepka is relishing the opportunity to face off with Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler at the Masters – admitting he misses the battles with the best in the business.
Koepka rolled in a short putt at the 54th hole in Orlando to become the first player to win multiple LIV events at the weekend and his mind immediately turned to the Masters.
The four-time major champion claims he hasn’t been healthy heading to Augusta National since coming second to Tiger Woods in 2019, having dealt with injuries to his knees and wrist.
But it’s a fit and more confident Koepka who teased the mouth-watering prospect of competing with McIlroy and Scheffler down Magnolia Lane.
“(The) next week is a big week,” Koepka said. “I’m playing good, and there’s really no better way to go into Augusta than playing good and getting a win.
“I’m very confident. (I) like where the game is at. Just need to go out and try to rest up for three days, do my usual nine holes every day, and do the homework around the greens, just get a little more adjusted with Augusta.
“It was nice to see these greens speed up this week. There were definitely some dicey spots – from four feet you had some downhill sliders that were outside the hole by a good bit, which resembled Augusta a little bit.
“It’ll be great just to see all the good players back, back in one field again, right? It’s the first time we’ve seen it in a long time. That’ll be exciting.
“I’m looking forward to it, just to see everybody and compete against them, because at the end of the day – I do miss playing against Rory, I do miss playing against Scottie, and I’m sure they miss playing against us as well.
“That’s a fact. You always want to play against the best. That’s going to make Augusta even more special.”
You could be forgiven for thinking Koepka’s major-winning chances in 2023 were slim prior to last week, as he has failed to break the top 45 in his last six ranking events dating back to last year’s Masters.
Not only does his win at Orange County National represent an up-turn in form, but a step towards the formidable character that accumulated 47 weeks as World No 1 while on the PGA Tour.
His fellow LIV colleague Patrick Reed has talked up the prospect of a LIV player slipping on the Green Jacket in recent days.
Greg Norman declared, in an interview with NewsCorp, if one of his recruits won the Masters the other 17 LIV competitors in the field would congratulate them on the 18th green.
Koepka stoked up this image too and emphasised the significance of another major trophy belonging to the LIV roster.
“If one of the LIV players does win,” he added, “It’ll definitely be a huge statement for LIV, and I know that all 18 of us want to win.
“I think when you look at it, if one of the guys does, I would be shocked if all of us aren’t there.”
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