Car troubles keep Koepka stuck in first gear

Former champion hoping strange run of bad luck behind him

You couldn't imagine Brooks Koepka being the superstitious type, or thinking too much about the sort of strange happenings that have befallen him of late.

Like his car running out of fuel at home in Florida. Or, being locked out of his car - engine running, but the doors mysteriously locking with golf bag in the boot - as happened Tuesday as he prepared to head to Southern Hills for his practice.

“Only me, man,” joked Koepka. “It’s like a theme of car troubles. Run out of gas (last week) and then this. I’m just glad it didn’t happen on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday . . . I went in and grabbed a hat, walked right out, and then the car was locked. I don’t know how the keys locked inside the car. It boggles me. I didn’t think a car was supposed to do that, but apparently it does.”

Koepka is in the strange situation of heading into a PGA Championship not counted among the favourites, his odds - generally around 40/1 - placing him an outsider in a tournament he has won twice (2018 and successfully defending in 2019) and then finished runner-up to Phil Mickelson last year.

He hasn’t been seen, though, since the Masters. Part of his absence was due to some wedding planning for his upcoming marriage, while the plan to play in last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson was ditched to ensure that his troublesome knee would be fine for this latest challenge.

“The whole reason (to withdraw from the Byron Nelson) was to just make sure that I’m ready for this week. I feel ready, and now just got to play good. Simple,” he said.

And, in Koepka’s mind, he will be among the contenders this week . . . especially if he can get his putter to warm-up.

Indeed, Koepka revealed his poor putting at Augusta National - where he missed the cut - led him to search YouTube of footage of his Major wins: “I’ve never done this but I went back and watched tape or video on YouTube of every Major championship I’ve ever won and what I was doing when I was putting and picked up on a few things.

“A couple of things setup-wise, a couple of things stroke-wise, just to figure out where the touch was. It was little bit off. Everything just didn’t quite feel right. But it’s getting back to what I feel it was, and it looks quite similar to what it was in years past.”

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