Koepka pulls out of Players Championship with right knee strain

Brooks Koepka poses with the trophy after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, Arizona February 7, 2021. — Reuters pic
Brooks Koepka poses with the trophy after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, Arizona February 7, 2021. — Reuters pic

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MIAMI, Mar 8 — Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the US PGA Tour’s Players Championship with a strain right knee, the tour confirmed yesterday.

“Brooks strained his right knee and he is scheduled to further consult with doctors this week to receive a more extensive evaluation and outlook,” Koepka’s manager, Blake Smith, said in a statement. “We will be able to provide additional updates and information as we learn more.”

It’s a big blow for the former world number one, who notched his eighth PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open last month after battling nagging left knee and hip injuries in 2020.

He missed the PGA Tour playoffs and the pandemic-delayed US Open at Winged Foot in September, admitting after his win in Phoenix that he’d had “dark moments” where he wondered if he would ever be able to play at the level that saw him win four major titles over 2017, 2018 and 2019.

He tore his left patella tendon after the 2019 Tour Championship and reinjured it in the CJ Cup that year, the lingering trouble eventually leading to hip problems as well.

“I’ve had moments where I didn’t know if I was going to be the same, if I could even come back,” Koepka said in Phoenix.

Although he said he was pleased to be playing without pain and went on to finish in a tie for second at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship in Florida last week.

He didn’t play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational that concluded yesterday. — AFP

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