After contending but ultimately falling short in a tune-up ahead of a major title defense, don’t expect Brooks Koepka to lose much sleep over his finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Koepka was the only player ranked inside the top 10 in the world to tee it up this week in Dallas, and he closed with a bogey-free 65 at Trinity Forest to finish the week at 20 under. But that still left him alone in fourth place, three shots behind Sung Kang who rallied to win for the first time on the PGA Tour. In speaking to reporters after the round, Koepka was quick to put his result in perspective.
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“Sometimes you can just get beat. That happened this week,” Koepka said. “I feel like I’m striking it really well, putting it really well, especially the putts coming down the stretch. Nice to see some kind of, something on the line. It was important going into next week.”
Next week would be the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where Koepka will defend the title he won last summer at Bellerive. After a T-2 finish at the Masters he’ll renew his search for a fourth career major title, having claimed three of the last eight he has played. Koepka now adds his close call at Trinity Forest to a runner-up at the Honda Classic in February as signs that his game can elevate him into contention at nearly any type of Tour venue – including the major variety.
“I like my chances next week,” Koepka said. “Just like the way I’m playing, like the way everything feels right now.”