“His performance in the Long Drive was pretty cool. I think he told us his goal for the Long Drive was to make it to the final 16, I think he said that would have been a really big accomplishment for him. … I’m sure he’s feeling really good about his performance. It was pretty fun to watch.”
Koepka, 31, is playing for the sixth time at Shriners (he was a runner-up in 2017), and will play next week at THE CJ CUP @ Summit, a second event in Vegas. Koepka said his 2020-21 season, which was slowed by knee and wrist injuries, was a disappointment, and that this season he’d like to not only win multiple events, but stay healthy throughout. One aspect of his game that held him back last season: Green-reading. He said he has worked on integrating AimPoint into his routine to better read breaks on the greens, which hopefully will lead to better results with the putter.
“I’ve fallen off, to be completely honest,” said Koepka, an eight-time TOUR winner and four-time major champion now ranked ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking. “I’ve fallen off going to World No. 1, injuries, all this stuff, and I haven’t been where I expected myself to be. I think that’s been the disappointing part, so I was kind of kicking myself and trying to figure out how to get better, and that (AimPoint) was just one of the ways.
“… There’s some things where you’ve got to keep improving year after year. You look at it, traditionally, 30 or 35 is when guys have their prime out here, and I’m just kind of starting that prime at 31. So hopefully that holds true. But you got to find a way.”
Koepka and DeChambeau, who bantered through social media through much of 2021, will partake in a 12-hole match on Nov. 26 at the Wynn Golf Course at Wynn Las Vegas. DeChambeau, ranked seventh in the world, was part of a previous version of The Match, joining NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers in taking down the tandem of Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. Koepka and DeChambeau were teammates on the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team two weeks ago, and, at the behest of U.S. team member Justin Thomas, even embraced in a playful embrace following the team’s final media session.
As for more details on The Match? We’ll have to wait for those.
“I think we’re excited,” Koepka said. “It’s going to be good. You’ll see it.”