The four-time major winner is out at East Lake after hitting a tree root
Brooks Koepka withdrew from the 2021 Tour Championship on Saturday with a wrist injury. Koepka was 3 over on the day and near the bottom of the 30-golfer leaderboard at East Lake Golf Club.
It appeared that Koepka injured his wrist on a specific shot during his third round on Saturday where he hit a root, which you can see here.
This is interesting for a couple of reasons. Though Koepka had no shot of winning the tournament (he was 18 strokes down to Patrick Cantlay when he withdrew), there’s still a ton of money at stake. Last place gets $395,000 at the Tour Championship, and 10th is more than double that. The top eight all receive at least $1 million. Koepka will receive that $395,000 check because he withdrew and finished last.
The second reason is that the Ryder Cup, which Koepka automatically qualified for on the U.S. side, is in three weeks. Koepka seemed unperturbed by the incident and simply taking precautions for what’s ahead.
“Same wrist I had issues with back in ’17, ’18, so just making sure it’s all good,” said Koepka.
Injuries have become a theme with Koepka. His wrist injury in 2018 kept him out of that year’s Masters, which Patrick Reed went on to win. He also missed events at various points in time because of a left knee that bothered him throughout 2019 and was reinjured at the end of that calendar year. He said in February 2020 that his knee may never be the same again. He missed the end of last year’s FedEx Cup Playoffs and the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot with injuries. This year, it was a different knee that knocked him out of the Players Championship and nearly out of the Masters and has popped up from time to time since then.
Koepka is slated to play a $250,000 charity match next week against Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy at Liberty National Golf Club. Koepka was supposed to be playing left-handed but that seems unlikely to happen at this point.
Captain’s picks for the 2020 Ryder Cup will be announced Wednesday. While it’s doubtful that any decision would be made by then (if there’s even any decision to make), that would be the next time we get an update on the state of Koepka’s health. The U.S. could add players up until the matches in three weeks depending on how Koepka feels. He played on both the 2016 U.S. team, which won at Hazeltine, and the 2018 U.S. team, which lost in Paris.