"Healthy" Brooks Koepka fires warning to his rivals

Brooks Koepka

Despite winning the US PGA, coming second in both the Masters and the US Open and then finishing in a tie for fourth at the Open, Brooks Koepka has revealed that he was playing at 100% during the major championships last year

The world No.1, whose appearance in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week is his first start since an abortive effort to defend his CJ Cup title in October, says that issues with him bothered him for most of 2019 and ultimately led to him spending a spell on the sidelines.

“I had problems with it since March [and] dealt with it the whole year,” he said. “I don't think anybody's ever operating at 100%. I think that's a rarity in sports. Everybody's dinged up a little bit. Nobody wants to hear an excuse.

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“So, I'm not going to come out and tell you I've got the sniffles or tell you my knee hurts. Just get on with it and go play. I mean, I won with it, so I don't see any issue with it.”

With his problems now behind him, the four-time major champion is itching to get going in 2020.

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“I miss competition,” he said. “I've missed showing up to an event preparing for something, because I haven't had anything to prepare for. When you have three months off, it's not fun, I know that. But it makes me appreciate the game more every time and hopefully I don't have anymore of those situations.

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“I'm just excited to hit balls. When I started hitting, it's the same thing. It's exciting and it's enthusiasm to get out there and go play. Last year, there wasn't much practise. I just couldn't do it with my knee.

“I think everybody saw it on my team towards the end of the year. I couldn't get on my left side. I couldn't do things. Couldn't squat down in a bunker. I struggled to get down and read a putt. You know, thankfully that's in the past now.”

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