Routine key for world No. 1 Koepka

Brooks Koepka, the PGA Championship winner who missed out on his US Open hat-trick by three shots, will be looking for his second title this season at the Travelers Championship this week.
Brooks Koepka, the PGA Championship winner who missed out on his US Open hat-trick by three shots, will be looking for his second title this season at the Travelers Championship this week.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES • Stick to a process, stay calm and success will follow.

World No. 1 Brooks Koepka has revealed his winning formula as he seeks to rebound from falling just short of winning a third straight US Open last week.

The 29-year-old American, who finished three strokes behind first-time Major champion Gary Woodland at Pebble Beach last Sunday, is eyeing a seventh PGA Tour title at the US$1.2 million (S$1.63 million) Travelers Championship this week.

He insists fatigue will not be a factor at the TPC River Highlands, where Bubba Watson is the defending champion. Others playing include Francesco Molinari, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.

Koepka said: "It's a lot different when you win and you're trying to play the week after.

"It's a bit hectic, chaotic. I just feel mentally exhausted from last week just being in contention. But another day of rest today and I'll be fine for tomorrow."

Keeping busy is the four-time Major winner's way of staying sharp and he now has a routine that has proved successful; in the past, he might have lost his focus in the middle of a round.

"Not everything is results-based with me. It's about the process," he said. "I think that's why I'm able to play so well in the Majors because I'm not worried about winning.

"I'm not worried about the pressure of being in first or trying to accomplish three in a row, whatever it was.

"Even last week, it's just about the process. If I can get the process down, the result is going to come."

The trophies may not have come if he were still that hothead who would get angry if things do not go his way.

"I look back from college and I had to switch. I was a hothead," he said. "I learnt to understand that even if I hit it in the water or out of bounds, I'm not trying to do that.

"I'm human. I'm going to make mistakes. I can get over that. I think that's part of why I'm not afraid to take chances and go at pins."

He is already looking ahead to The Open Championship at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland, from July 18 to 21. He plans to skip the Scottish Open and arrive a couple of days before the first round, as per his routine.

"I usually go over a little bit early, a couple days before, and just try to get some work in," he said. "I'm not planning on changing my schedule. It's always been that way.

"It's fun to get over, get acclimatised a couple days before.

"That way, when I get there on Monday, I'm used to the time change and feel like I have a good understanding of the golf course."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2019, with the headline 'Routine key for world No. 1 Koepka'. Print Edition | Subscribe