Former world No.1 Brooks Koepka has struggled of late for both form and fitness – but one area where he continues to outperform most other players is confidence.
Just ask the reporter who questioned it during the four-time major champion’s press conference ahead of this week’s WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.
Koepka, the defending champion at TPC Memphis this week as well as at next week’s US PGA Championship, was asked about being one of golf’s most confident players going into majors and whether or not that mindset has been affected by his “recent struggles”.
Koepka smirked at the question and replied: “I’m defending, aren’t I?”
Cue awkward silence.
When the reporter agreed with him, Koepka added: “Okay. Just checking.”
Beware the injured golfer indeed!
The moderator quickly moved on to the next question but it was certainly a tense moment, not to mention a reminder never to question Brooks’ mental strength.
Whilst his mind might be as resilient as ever, Koepka’s knee continues to bother him. The 29-year-old confirmed that he has planned another round of stem cell treatment for the end of the season but hasn’t ruled out getting surgery if it deteriorates.
In the meantime, he can’t go running, is restricted to cycling once per week and has to ice the joint after every range session.
“It's definitely been frustrating,” he said. “It will test you mentally but, at the same time, I'm looking at it as a challenge. It will turn around eventually. It's going to turn around. You don't work that hard for nothing. I’m starting to see signs of it. Now, it's just about going and doing it. Whether it be this week, next week, a month from now, two months from now, whatever it's going to be, it will pay off.”
Koepka plays alongside Patrick Reed and Viktor Hovland in the first two rounds of this week's World Golf Championship.