Brooks Koepka, who entered the week as the top-ranked golfer in the world, will not advance into weekend play at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
Koepka shot rounds of 70 and 71 to finish at 1-under and four shots off the cutline. The 29-year-old has just returned from a five-week break that included a stem cell procedure for a partially torn patella tendon on Aug. 25. He said earlier this week that the knee had been “bugging him” since March.
The heavy favorite heading into the week, Koepka was the first world No. 1 to enter Shriners since Greg Norman did so in 1988, when the tournament was played in the spring, according to the Associated Press.
“Not really disappointing,” (Koepka) said of his performance, according to Golfweek. “I’ve worked on my wedges, trying to control yardages a lot, and they were spot on all week. And I was just a hair off. Putting, just kind of reverted back to some old things, but that’s going to happen.
“I’m not disappointed. I feel like I was very close. This golf course, you can shoot even par very quickly and you can shoot 7 under. It’s just a matter of inches.”
Ironically, Brooks’ younger brother Chase is having the tournament of his life and made the cut for the first time on the PGA Tour. The 25-year-old Chase -– ranked 1,822nd in the world –– shot rounds of 66 and 69 to get himself into a tie for 35th, five shots off the lead.
“He was expected to do what I did [and miss the cut],” Brooks said of his brother. “It’s obviously a great opportunity for him. It’s a big week. You never know what could happen. You come out here and you win and all of a sudden he’s got a membership, which would be pretty cool,” Brooks said.
“If he’s going to win, I’ll be the first person to congratulate him on 18. I think it would be probably one of the coolest things. There’s not many chances you get where your brother can actually be a professional golfer, let alone play in the same tournament, and then if he does win, shoot, that would be a highlight of my year.”
A win would get Chase a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. With a finish in the top 10, he would earn a start in next week’s Houston Open.
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