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Brooks Koepka carded rounds of 65 and 67 over the primary two days to high the leaderboard at The Masters, the place victory would give him his fifth main title and first since becoming a member of LIV; watch all through the weekend solely reside on Sky Sports activities Golf

By Ali Stafford at Augusta Nationwide

Final Up to date: 08/04/23 12:41am

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Highlights from the second spherical of the 2023 Masters at Augusta Nationwide

Highlights from the second spherical of the 2023 Masters at Augusta Nationwide

Brooks Koepka is the person to beat heading into the weekend at The Masters, with the previous world No 1 in a significantly better place than throughout his earlier two visits to Augusta Nationwide.

Koepka gained 4 majors between 2017 and 2019 and contended in a number of others, earlier than a string of knee and hip accidents – a few of which have been highlighted within the current Netflix ‘Full Swing’ sequence – made him concern for his future on the highest stage.

The American might barely stoop to learn putts throughout his missed minimize at The Masters in 2021, the place he tried to hurry again simply weeks after knee surgical procedure, and he was left annoyed once more when back-to-back 75s noticed him make an early exit in final yr’s contest.

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Brooks Koepka produced an excellent second spherical to move into the weekend at The Masters on 12 below

Brooks Koepka produced an excellent second spherical to move into the weekend at The Masters on 12 below

“I do not even know if I needs to be saying this, however fairly certain I attempted to interrupt the again window with my fist of the automobile,” Koepka admitted on Friday. “I attempted to place it via the again window, not as soon as however twice. First time did not go, so figured attempt it once more.

“Yeah, it was quite a lot of frustration final yr. Tremendous annoying. I’ve come a good distance since then.”

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April 8, 2023, 7:30pm

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Koepka has not featured on the PGA Tour since then, struggling together with his health throughout disappointing performances on the PGA Championship and US Open earlier than confirming later that month he could be becoming a member of the LIV Golf circuit.

When requested whether or not a more healthy Koepka would have discovered his choice to maneuver tougher, he admitted: “If I am being utterly sincere, I feel it will have been. However I am proud of the choice I made.

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Koepka shot a powerful 67 in his second spherical at The Masters at Augusta Nationwide and claims any earlier harm points are forgotten

Koepka shot a powerful 67 in his second spherical at The Masters at Augusta Nationwide and claims any earlier harm points are forgotten

“If I wasn’t going to have the ability to transfer the best way I needed to, I did not wish to play the sport anymore. It is simply that easy. There was undoubtedly moments of that. Final yr was fairly robust. Simply quite a lot of frustration.”

Constructive steps return for Koepka with LIV

Koepka continued to wrestle with type and health earlier than turning a nook with an inaugural LIV Golf victory in October, claiming play-off victory in Jeddah, whereas one other win on the LIV Golf occasion in Orlando final Sunday gave him loads of confidence going into the opening main of the yr.

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“Most likely in the direction of the top of final yr, I felt it was coming,” Koepka stated. “It wasn’t precisely all the best way there. Most likely, I would say January I knew I used to be again. I knew all the pieces was proper the place it wanted to be strength-wise, mobility-wise and having the ability to do issues with the golf swing.”

Koepka stated after changing into the primary a number of winner on the Saudi-backed circuit that it will be “an enormous assertion” if one of many 18-strong LIV contingent might declare the Inexperienced Jacket this week, with the 32-year-old laying down a marker himself and setting the clubhouse goal with a dominant two days.

“I really feel actually good,” Koepka stated after a bogey-free 67 on Friday. “I like the best way I am swinging the golf membership, placing it, chipping it, driving it, iron play is strong. It feels actually related [to his run of major success]. Did not actually do an excessive amount of mistaken.”

The beginning of one thing greater for Brooks?

Koepka will head into what’s scheduled to be a weather-disrupted weekend because the agency favorite so as to add to his main tally, though the eight-time PGA Tour winner already has one eye on becoming a member of golf’s most unique membership.

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Nick Dougherty, Luke Donald and Brad Faxon talk about whether or not Koepka and his caddie have been in breach of the principles after showing to point to Gary Woodland which membership to make use of on the fifteenth gap

Nick Dougherty, Luke Donald and Brad Faxon talk about whether or not Koepka and his caddie have been in breach of the principles after showing to point to Gary Woodland which membership to make use of on the fifteenth gap

“The entire objective is to win the Grand Slam, proper,” Koepka stated. “I really feel like all of the greats have gained right here and so they have all gained The Open as nicely. Look, I suppose it [winning at Augusta] is yet one more field for me to tick to really really feel like I’ve finished what I ought to have achieved on this recreation.”

There was a interval in golf the place you felt Koepka was going to win nearly each main he teed it up in. Based mostly on the primary two rounds, it will be no shock to see these occasions return.

“He’s enjoying stunning golf,” Sky Sports activities’ Butch Harmon stated. “He’s not going backwards. The others are going to have to come back and get him.”

Watch The Masters all through the weekend reside on Sky Sports activities. Reside protection continues from the sooner time of 1pm on Saturday on Sky Sports activities Golf, with a bunch of bonus feeds obtainable through the crimson button.

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