TULSA, Akla. ”For a while, his keys seemed to be locked in the car before training, not the worst thing that had happened to Brooks Kopk this week.
But then, after the start of the PGA Championship with five bullets on its first nine holes and the completion of the first round on the 5-over, the Jupiter resident recovered on Friday to slowly make his way above the cut line.
“The short game is where it should be,” Kapka said after a shot on Friday with a score of 3 to 67 and equalizing Justin Thomas with a low round in the middle of the morning wave. Kapka made an incision with two shots.
“It’s good to chip, good to put, and if you get out of position in the rough part, playing in that place is pretty hard.”
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Koepka, who is looking for his third PGA title and fifth specialty, moved from 142nd in the field in results scored around Green on Thursday to top 10 on Friday. He was 6-out of 6 on sand saves.
More impressive was that the Koepki round took place early when the wind was at its peak, blowing 20 to 30 miles per hour most of the morning, making the 7556-yard track on the South Hills even more difficult.
“If it blows, it will be quite difficult,” Kapka said. “You have to put it in the right places. But the main thing here is to put it in the fairway, and you’ll be fine.”
Kapka was asked if he had returned to the tournament.
“Maybe one deep round. Maybe,” he said. “I mean, it takes more than that to get closer, but yes, you definitely need one very good round.”
Koepka will play over the weekend after missing out on two of the biggest events of the season so far, The Players and Masters. The cut in August completed a stretch of 25 in a row made on majors dating back to the 2013 Open.
While Koepka was able to return on the weekend, others from the district finished with points that would have allowed anyone to make a double double. Dustin Johnson of Jupiter was a 6-over after carding a pair of 73s. Patrick Kentley had 13 scarecrows in the first two days and he came home with 11 over 151. Daniel Berger recorded an 80-point scoring Friday with seven scarecrows and two doubles. In two days he scored 13 more.
With three holes still to be played that day, Tiger Woods of Jupiter Island was equal, just above the projected cut.