The Open: Brooks Koepka Will Not Be “Close” to Sunday’s Final Group

Brooks Koepka 149th Open Championship Royal St Georges
Brooks Koepka putts on the 11th green as caddie Ricky Elliott looks on during Day Three of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 17, 2021 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Warren Little for R&A via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, ahead of The 149th Open Championship, Brooks Koepka bragged, “I’ll be close to the final group come Sunday. I always feel like I play well in the big events, the majors.”

After a Friday round of 66, the four-time major winner was well positioned to back up his pre-tournament boast: Koepka was tied for 12th, and just six off the pace of Louis Oosthuizen.

But after a third-round 72, that prediction will not happen.

Koepka, who wasted some of Saturday’s prep time trolling his rival Bryson DeChambeau on the driving range, made bogeys on Nos. 2, 3, and 5, and never recovered.

On moving day, he tumbled 13 positions down the leaderboard, landing at T25, nine shots off the pace of Oosthuizen.

It will be interesting to see how he plays on Sunday with no chance at victory. Does he mail it in, or post a low number and shoot for a back-door top-5 finish (his third of 2021)?

Koepka will play alongside New Zealand’s Ryan Fox in the 25th group, 14 groups behind the final pairing (Game 39).

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