Brooks Koepka carded rounds of 65 and 67 over the primary two days to prime the leaderboard at The Masters, the place victory would give him his fifth main title and first since becoming a member of LIV; watch all through the weekend solely reside on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford at Augusta National
Last Updated: 08/04/23 12:41am
Highlights from the second spherical of the 2023 Masters at Augusta National
Brooks Koepka is the person to beat heading into the weekend at The Masters, with the previous world No 1 in a a lot better place than throughout his earlier two visits to Augusta National.
Koepka gained 4 majors between 2017 and 2019 and contended in a number of others, earlier than a string of knee and hip accidents – a few of which had been highlighted within the latest Netflix ‘Full Swing’ sequence – made him worry for his future on the highest degree.
The American might barely stoop to learn putts throughout his missed reduce at The Masters in 2021, the place he tried to hurry again simply weeks after knee surgical procedure, and he was left annoyed once more when back-to-back 75s noticed him make an early exit in final yr’s contest.
Brooks Koepka produced an outstanding second spherical to move into the weekend at The Masters on 12 underneath
“I do not even know if I ought to be saying this, however fairly certain I attempted to interrupt the again window with my fist of the automotive,” Koepka admitted on Friday. “I attempted to place it by means of the again window, not as soon as however twice. First time did not go, so figured attempt it once more.
“Yeah, it was a number of frustration final yr. Super annoying. I’ve come a great distance since then.”
The Masters – Live
April 8, 2023, 7:30pm
Koepka has not featured on the PGA Tour since then, struggling along with his health throughout disappointing performances on the PGA Championship and US Open earlier than confirming later that month he could be becoming a member of the LIV Golf circuit.
When requested whether or not a more healthy Koepka would have discovered his resolution to maneuver tougher, he admitted: “If I’m being fully sincere, I feel it could have been. But I’m pleased with the choice I made.
Koepka shot a formidable 67 in his second spherical at The Masters at Augusta National and claims any earlier damage points are forgotten
“If I wasn’t going to have the ability to transfer the way in which I wished to, I did not wish to play the sport anymore. It’s simply that easy. There was undoubtedly moments of that. Last yr was fairly robust. Just a number of frustration.”
Positive steps return for Koepka with LIV
Koepka continued to wrestle with kind and health earlier than turning a nook with an inaugural LIV Golf victory in October, claiming play-off victory in Jeddah, whereas one other win on the LIV Golf occasion in Orlando final Sunday gave him loads of confidence going into the opening main of the yr.
The Masters – Live
April 8, 2023, 8:00am
“Probably in direction of the tip of final yr, I felt it was coming,” Koepka mentioned. “It wasn’t precisely all the way in which there. Probably, I’d say January I knew I used to be again. I knew the whole lot was proper the place it wanted to be strength-wise, mobility-wise and having the ability to do issues with the golf swing.”
Koepka mentioned after turning into the primary a number of winner on the Saudi-backed circuit that it could be “an enormous assertion” if one of many 18-strong LIV contingent might declare the Green Jacket this week, with the 32-year-old laying down a marker himself and setting the clubhouse goal with a dominant two days.
“I really feel actually good,” Koepka mentioned after a bogey-free 67 on Friday. “I like the way in which I’m swinging the golf membership, placing it, chipping it, driving it, iron play is stable. It feels actually related [to his run of major success]. Didn’t actually do an excessive amount of unsuitable.”
The begin of one thing larger for Brooks?
Koepka will head into what’s scheduled to be a weather-disrupted weekend because the agency favorite so as to add to his main tally, though the eight-time PGA Tour winner already has one eye on becoming a member of golf’s most unique membership.
Nick Dougherty, Luke Donald and Brad Faxon focus on whether or not Koepka and his caddie had been in breach of the foundations after showing to point to Gary Woodland which membership to make use of on the fifteenth gap
“The complete objective is to win the Grand Slam, proper,” Koepka mentioned. “I really feel like all of the greats have gained right here and so they have all gained The Open as properly. Look, I suppose it [winning at Augusta] is yet another field for me to tick to actually really feel like I’ve completed what I ought to have completed on this recreation.”
There was a interval in golf the place you felt Koepka was going to win nearly each main he teed it up in. Based on the primary two rounds, it could be no shock to see these instances return.
“He is enjoying lovely golf,” Sky Sports’ Butch Harmon mentioned. “He shouldn’t be going backwards. The others are going to have to come back and get him.”
Watch The Masters all through the weekend reside on Sky Sports. Live protection continues from the sooner time of 1pm on Saturday on Sky Sports Golf, with a number of bonus feeds accessible by way of the crimson button.