Brooks Koepka announced Wednesday that he has withdrawn from next week’s U.S. Open.
Koepka hasn’t played since he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship on Aug. 14. Slated to play The Northern Trust – his seventh consecutive start – he pulled out on the eve of the tournament, citing lingering injuries to his knee and hip.
Koepka underwent a stem-cell procedure on his left knee last fall and missed the final few months of 2019 after a setback. Though he didn’t play to his lofty standards this year, recording just two top-25s in 13 starts, he didn’t necessarily blame his performance on his achy left knee. Still, he admitted his issues were “physical.”
“I know how to do it, I can do it,” he said at the Wyndham. “I just physically can’t do it.”
Following his season-ending withdrawal last month, Koepka’s manager said that Koepka planned to rest the next few weeks “to ensure that he’s ready to go for the start of the 2020-21 season.”
Apparently, Koepka isn’t ready yet, and that means he’ll miss the major in which he’s experienced the most success. After capturing back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 2017 and ’18, Koepka was only outplayed by Gary Woodland last summer at Pebble Beach, where he finished second.
In the year’s first major, Koepka was two shots off the lead heading into the final round of the PGA before fading badly with a Sunday 74. Ranked No. 1 in the world to start the year, he has dropped to eighth.
Koepka did not say Wednesday when he hoped to return to competition, only that he looked forward to “competing at 100% again very soon.” The Masters begins Nov. 12.
Koepka was replaced in the U.S. Open field by Englishman Paul Waring, the first alternate as determined by the world ranking as of Aug. 23.