Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson were the only two real stars teeing it up this week at the Palmetto Championship. But after 36 holes at Congaree, it’s down to just DJ, as Kopeka opened 72-73 (+3) and missed the cut by two strokes.
Koepka finished his two days in Ridgeland, South Carolina with 22 pars, six birdies, seven bogeys and one double to sit T78 on 3-over par 145.
Fear not, though, bettors: Koepka also missed the cut at the Byron Nelson, ahead of last month’s PGA Championship, and went on to post a runner-up finish at Kiawah Island. So this result should have zero impact on his readiness for next week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
In fact it may help as Koepka was able to get in two rounds of live balls, and now has the weekend to prep for his trip to the dystopian state of California and all its regulatory demands.
“Reps,” said Koepka when asked what he got out his two rounds in South Carolina.
“That’s what I need. I just need tournament reps and trying to hit different shots on your competition. I’ve missed so much of the season just with the knee, where I feel like I’m already a little bit behind.
“I like where my game’s at. I’m striking it well, putting it well. So I don’t see anything wrong. It’s just, like I said, maybe a little lack of focus and maybe — these weeks before the majors, I start thinking about next week instead of where I’m at.
“It’s not an excuse, but it just needs to be better. I need to be where I’m at currently, even more present in this tournament than thinking about next week.”
When asked to expound on his difficulty focusing on regular tour events, Koepka said he just thrives on the “bigger stages” of majors.
“I mean, I don’t try to miss a cut,” said Koepka. “I don’t know, I just have a harder time focusing in regular PGA Tour events than I do majors.
“Majors, I know I’m locked in from the moment I hit the first tee shot. Even walking from the first tee shot to the ball, my head is still going on what I need to do.
“Out here I kind of lose focus for a little bit.
“I’ve got to figure it out. That’s why I struggle, I think, in regular events. It’s the focus and the energy, the excitement level just isn’t there when it would be in a major.
“It’s different. I thrive off that bigger stage, that big moment where there’s a bunch of fans and a tough golf course. I love it.”