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Posted February 27, 2020 09:02 am
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Brooks Koepka has a mind of his own, he reminds us again at Honda Classic

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    Koepka (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Brooks Koepka’s golf game has been very healthy for a long time. Now, he’s looking for his actual health to catch up to his game.

Coming off a knee injury that forced him to take off three months, Koepka is gearing up for the heart of the season, his next step this week’s Honda Classic at PGA National. Koepka is working to get back to the form that allowed him to win four majors since the summer of 2017, including the 2019 PGA Championship.

Honda is Koepka’s fourth start since returning five weeks ago – including Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. He plans to give his knee the ultimate test by playing three weeks in a row, starting in two weeks with the Players Championship. Then, he will take a week off and onto the Masters, where he is seeking his first title after tying for second last year behind Tiger Woods.

“The knee is great,” he said. “I wouldn’t be playing if there was pain or I didn’t feel like I could come out here and compete my best.

“It’s better than I expected it to be at this point in time.”

The results have not been there since he returned, finishing 43rd two weeks ago at the Genesis Invitational, where he equaled his second-highest round all of last season. Koepka, though, stopped short of blaming his score on the layoff.

“I don’t want to say rust was the culprit of that,” he said. “I felt like I was doing a lot of really good things. I was very close, striking it well, putting it well, and sometimes it’s just a matter of scoring.”

The best thing for Koepka now after rehabbing in San Diego – where he would get his work in starting at 7 a.m. and be looking for things to do around noon – is to keep moving so his knee does not get stiff. He said he started getting antsy in early December and finally started hitting balls on Dec. 20. About a week later, he was playing a round with the world’s most famous golfer, Donald Trump. Koepka played at Trump’s course in West Palm Beach and was joined by his father, Bob, and brother, Chase.

Koepka, who was raised in Wellington, described meeting sitting Presidents – he met Barack Obama at the Floridian Golf Club years ago but was unable to fit in a round of golf – as something that will last with him forever.

“When I’m on my death bed, that’ll probably be one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, getting to meet those guys,” he said.

As for playing with Trump: “I actually had a blast,” he said.