Brooks Koepka Overcomes a Double-Bogey Start to Shoot 69, Share Early Lead

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the 15th tee during the first round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort’s Ocean Course on May 20, 2021 in Kiawah Island, SC. (Photo by Jamie Squire via Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka opened with a 3-under 69 and shares the early first-round lead at the PGA Championship.

Starting his day on the 10th at the famed Ocean Course, Koepka quickly dropped two shots with a double bogey 6, and then after working his way back to level par with birdies on Nos. 11 and 13, he dropped another shot on 15 to sit 1-over par through six holes.

But then the big-game savant went to work, adding a third birdie on the par-5 16th to turn even-par 36. And following three straight pars to start his homeward set, Koepka reeled off three birdies in a four-hole span (Nos. 4, 5, and 7) to rocket up the leaderboard to 3 under par.

Afterwards, Koepka cited a poor choice of club for the double-bogey start.

“Probably a poor club choice off 10,” said Koepka. “I thought 3-wood would have carried, but it didn’t.

“I also didn’t find the face, barely hit the face.

“The first rule is, if you’re in trouble, get the hell out. I couldn’t reach the green. It was a bad lie. Didn’t know what I was going. Just tried to hit a pull sand wedge up by the green instead of just chopping it out. So mental mistake there. Deserved every bit of that double bogey.

“It kind of helped refocus. I can’t play with any mistakes, maybe one a day, and that was my one, and I got it out of the way the 1st hole. Just had to be real careful and watch what I was doing.”

Koepka’s superstar groupmates, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, each struggled to a 75 and sit T100 on 3-over par.

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