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Bad breaks mar Brooks Koepka’s return to golf at CJ Cup at Shadow Creek

Bad breaks mar Brooks Koepka’s return to golf at CJ Cup at Shadow Creek

NORTH LAS VEGAS – A yard here, a yard there.

That’s how Brooks Koepka was thinking after he signed for a disappointing 2-over-par 74 in Thursday’s first round of the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. Koepka’s luck was running on the bad side with a few of his shots in his first tournament in two months but he remained optimistic heading into the second round.

“I mean, I don’t want to complain about bad breaks, I don’t normally do that, but I feel I was a foot, a yard here, a yard there from being really good and just kind of got unlucky,” Koepka said. “Just nice to be back playing. It feels good. I’ve actually played pretty solid. I was happy with it.

“Disappointed with like the scoring. I played way better. Like I said, a yard here, a yard there and it’s 18, if it’s a yard, 16 if it’s a yard left it’s on the green. Just felt like I got quite a few bad breaks, but it happens, it’s golf.”

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The former world No. 1 and four-time major champion is making a return to the game after an extended break for the third time this year as he’s battled knee and hip injuries and settled at home for 13 weeks due to the COVID-19-induced break in the season. But there was no concern about his hip or knee in this return. He trails pacesetter Tyrrell Hatton by nine shots.

“Everything feels good, I feel great,” he said. “I feel normal now, I just feel like I’m supposed to. This is more for just getting competitive reps for Augusta, that’s kind of what this is.”

That would be the Masters in November. Last year, Koepka finished in a tie for second behind Tiger Woods in his quest for his first green jacket. Aside from his score, he took a good step in the right direction heading toward Georgia.

“I hit it solid, I putted pretty well, I hit everything online that I wanted to and just made one sloppy mistake there, the three‑putt (on 15),” Koepka said. “I had maybe two bad swings. On 9 tee and then the one I hit in the water on the back (on 15). Those are the only two bad swings I made all day.

“I hit good putts, they just didn’t go in. Left a couple of them right short in the jaw. Yeah, I don’t know, I thought I played a hell of a lot better than the score.”


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