Brooks Koepka has admitted Royal St George’s is not his favourite venue on The Open rotation but he does not believe that will prevent him from challenging for a fifth major success this week.
The 31-year-old American has gone close in the last two majors, finishing tied for second behind Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship and joint-fourth behind Jon Rahm at the US Open.
He is now hoping to add to his two PGA Championship wins and two US Open wins and move closer to a career Grand Slam by lifting the Claret Jug in Sandwich on Sunday.
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Koepka, whose best Open performance came at Royal Portrush two years ago when he tied for fourth place, practised on the front nine at Royal St George’s on Monday and was set to play the back nine on Tuesday, but has been unimpressed with the course so far.
“I don’t know, it’s not my favourite venue that we’ve played,” he said at his press conference on Tuesday. “I think Portrush and St Andrews are definitely the favourites.
“St Andrews is probably my favourite place in the entire world to play. Portrush two years ago, I love that place. I thought that was just such a good Open. A fun golf course to play. Really enjoyed that. This one, it’s just not as exciting. I don’t know why.
“I haven’t seen all 18. I’ll see the back nine today. But quite a few blind tee shots, kind of hitting to nothing. Fairways are quite undulating. I don’t know, it’s not my favourite of the rotation, put it that way.
“[But] it doesn’t matter. I’ve won on golf courses that I’m not a big fan of before. It has nothing to do with it. Still got to get up and go hit the shot and do what I’m supposed to do, so that doesn’t bug me. I don’t care whether I like the place, don’t like it. You’ve still got to play good and go hit the shots.”
World No 8 Koepka followed his solid US Open performance by coming joint-fifth at the Travelers Championship in his last outing at the end of last month and is pleased with his current form.
“I feel good,” he added. “Coming off a couple good finishes. Felt like I was playing well. I’m pretty excited for this week. It’s a major, so I’ll be up for it, and excited to play this week.
“Sunday was the first time I touched a club since Travelers. Maybe I always don’t have the best of prep coming into this. But my game feels solid. I like the way I’m hitting it right now, and definitely more comfortable than I’ve been in years past coming over.”
With his excitement high, Koepka also has his eyes on completing the Grand Slam sooner rather than later by adding The Open title – either here or at St Andrews next year – and The Masters crown to his haul of majors.
“That [the Grand Slam] is a goal of mine,” he said. “We were actually just laughing about it. It would be pretty cool to go back-to-back in all of them, so that’s the goal. I just need to get the job done here. I love St Andrews, so hopefully it’ll happen.”
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