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Whether he needed it or not, Brooks Koepka has some added motivation to defend his PGA Championship crown.

The 34-year-old, who won back-to-back US Open titles in 2017 and 2018, arrives at Valhalla as one of the most feared men in the field.

After all, he is lining up a bid for a fourth Wanamaker trophy and a sixth major championship success.

But Koepka will also hope to avoid a repeat of his Masters ‘embarrassment’ last month, and the resulting ‘punishment workouts’ he was instructed to complete.

“Everybody put in a lot of hard work,” Koepka said, speaking to the media in Kentucky.

“[They] dedicated a lot of time and effort and then for me to go out and play like that is not what I expect of myself, I don’t think what they expect of me.

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“So yeah, we had a good talk and kind of put our noses down and kept grinding. You know, had some difficult punishment workouts.

“It was long hours on the range, just worked with everybody and really tried to go back to the fundamentals, and I think that was the important thing.”

So, what did they entail? Well, allow the man himself to explain.

“It sucks. It’s not a lot of fun. A lot more running. Very up-tempo, no rest.

“Ara Suppiah, basically he kind of oversees my program with Hamish and Kolby [Wayne], and they talk, and they figure it out.

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“I walked in, and Ara told me that you finished 45th; you’re going to get penalized.

“I think I had like four or five days in a row of just — I turned white, I wanted to throw up in a few of them. But yeah, got through it.”

Certainly not what the PGA Championship field wanted to hear from the American, who put that Augusta disappointment down to ‘ball position’.

“Ball position just got back,” Koepka added. “Back with everything. All the way through the bag, even with the putter. So, I wasn’t able to see the start lines.”

If his rivals were worried about the newfound incentive, then they’d likely want to know what he attributes his PGA Championship success to.

Fortunately, it’s simple, at least for Koepka – who said: “No idea. I just like majors.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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