U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is set to miss the opening third of the 2018 season with a wrist injury, and may not be back in action until the Masters at Augusta in April.
Koepka shot to prominence with a dominant win in the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills, posting a tournament record equalling a low of 16 under par to beat fellow American Brian Harman by four shots. It was a first major for the 27-year-old Koepka, but also—he hoped—the first of many.
Having been troubled by an injury to his left wrist for the second half of the 2017 season, Koepka sought medical advice. But, check-ups with specialists and subsequent X-rays showed nothing untoward in the wrist.
However, further medical examinations have deemed that Koepka actually has a partial tear to the ECU tendon—stifling his plans for what was going to be a busy 2018. The upshot is that he faces up to 10 weeks on the sidelines to rest the wrist and allow the tear to heal naturally before he can return to the course.
Sitting on the sidelines
That rules him out on the remaining tournaments in January as well as ones in February and March. By the time he regains full fitness to contest tournaments on the PGA TOUR, it could well be the Masters at Augusta in mid-April where we next see Koepka in action.
“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said in a statement. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters.”
It was at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii—the season-opening event played by winners on the previous year’s PGA TOUR—that Koepka realised he had not allowed enough time for his wrist injury to heal. He finished last of the 34 invitees on 13 over par, a staggering 37 shots behind winner Dustin Johnson.
A persisting injury
During the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December, he described the pain as feeling “like someone is jabbing a knife in my hand”, prompting him to return to his doctors for a solution to the problem. A month of rest was clearly not enough; Koepka will now need two-and-a-half months on the sidelines for rest and therapy.
While off the course, Koepka will miss planned appearances in the Phoenix Open, the Honda Classic, two WGC events, the Dell Technologies Match Play and the Pebble Beach Pro-am.
Koepka entered the top 10 golf world rankings after his victory in the U.S. Open. He reached a high of number seven in the world after winning the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Japan prior to his injury. He is now ranked eighth in the world, but is expected to drop out of the top 10 in the coming weeks.
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