Brooks Koepka earned his spot on the U.S. Presidents Cup team months ago. In fact, Koepka was the first American to earn a spot on the team.
Yet his status for the biennial event — which kicks off on December 12 at Royal Melbourne in Australia — is now up in the air.
Koepka withdrew from The CJ Cup in South Korea last week after he slipped on wet concrete and hit his left knee in the second round. Koepka had undergone stem cell treatment on his knee to repair a partially torn patella tendon after the season ended in August, though said ahead of his 2019-20 season debut that he was nearly back to 100 percent.
The latest setback, however, sent him home without providing a timetable for his return.
While the U.S. team would certainly take a hit if the current No. 1 golfer in the World Golf Rankings wasn’t on it, team captain Tiger Woods isn’t pushing Koepka to make any sort of decision just yet.
Koepka — Woods said on Wednesday ahead of the ZoZo Championship in Japan, the PGA Tour’s inaugural event in the country — has all the time he needs.
“We’re waiting to see what the surgeons say, see what happens, what his protocol is going to be going forward,” Woods said, via ESPN. “That’s something he said he will keep me abreast of going forward. As of right now, we’re just waiting on what the surgeon says and what he’s going to do.
“He is getting other opinions on what his knee is and what his options are. You want to go through as many different opinions as you possibly can before you decide what road you are going to go down.”
Koepka had a tremendous season on Tour last year, winning three times — including at the PGA Championship — and picking up a runner-up finish at the Masters, a T3 finish at the Tour Championship and a T4 finish at The Open Championship. This fall, though, has been slow.Koepka missed the cut at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, his season debut, and was in a tie for 51st at The CJ Cup when he withdrew after firing a 3-over in the second round.
He is set to play in the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China later this month. According to ESPN, however, Koepka is waiting to receive more information on his knee before announcing his status in the first of four WGC events.
The 29-year-old was one of eight players who earned automatic bids to the U.S. team. Woods, as the team captain, will select four others on November 7th to round out the 12-man team. As he didn’t qualify for the team either, Woods can pick himself to compete — and some other pros on Tour think he should, too.
Regardless, Woods isn’t worried about Koepka’s status for the tournament. If he can play, great. If he can’t, he’ll figure it out.
“I told him to take his time. No hurry,” Woods said, via ESPN. “You’re part of the team. You earned your way into the top eight spots. You’re on the team. You have to figure out what is best for your career and your knee and if you decide you can’t play, great. I totally understand. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”
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