Miami – World No 3 Brooks Koepka said poor putting was the problem as he missed the cut Friday at the Honda Classic, another speed bump in his return from a left knee injury that hindered him last season.
“I’m fine,” said Koepka, who had stem cell therapy in August to treat a partially torn patella tendon. “No complaints. It’s nothing to do with my knee. It’s just me.”
Specifically it was Koepka’s struggles on the greens at PGA National that cost him. He missed half a dozen putts from within 10 feet on Friday as he posted his second straight 74.
His eight-over total put him well outside the projected cut line.
“Struck it really well,” said Koepka, who had a triple bogey and a double bogey on his card on Thursday and two double bogeys on Friday. “Really pleased with how I’m hitting it. Putter, I just haven’t putted well.”
Koepka teed off on 10 and his hopes of gaining ground to make the cut dimmed at 13, where he was right of the fairway off the tee. His third shot was a chip to nine feet, but he missed the putt to save par as well as the short putt for bogey.
He chipped in for his only birdie of the day at the second, but had a bogey and another double-bogey – when he was in the water at the par-three fifth – the rest of the way.
“Maybe need a little bit more touch around the greens, a little more feel,” said Koepka, noting that he’s played only about 18 rounds since August.
As he tries to return to peak form in time for the Masters in April, Koepka is scheduled to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill next week with the Players, the Valspar Championship and the WGC Match Play Championship to come after that.
“Just need to pick it up a little bit,” Koepka said.
scores on Friday in the PGA Tour Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm
Beach Gardens, Florida (USA unless noted, par-70):
135 – Brendan Steele 68-67
136 – JT Poston 67-69, Luke Donald (ENG) 70-66, Lee Westwood (ENG) 67-69
137 – Gary Woodland 70-67, Nick Watney 71-66, Sepp Straka (AUG) 70-67, Cameron Davis (AUS) 70-67
138 – Shane Lowry (IRL) 69-69, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 72-66, Jamie Lovemark 69-69, Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 70-68, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 69-69, Richy Werenski 70-68
– Harold Varner 69-70, Kevin Streelman 69-70, Daniel Berger 69-70,
Russell Henley 70-69, Maverick McNealy 70-69, Robby Shelton 70-69,
Hudson Swafford 70-69, Adam Long 71-68, Cameron Tringale 67-72