(Reuters) – World number one Brooks Koepka is not going to compete the week before next month’s British Open, but will cross the Atlantic early to play links golf and adjust to the time change well before the championship.
June 16, 2019; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Brooks Koepka waves to the crowd on the 18th green during the final round of the 2019 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
“I’m doing to stick with the same plan. I usually go over to the British a little early … and get some work in,” he said on Wednesday on the eve of the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.
“I enjoy it, it’s fun, just to get over, get acclimatized a couple of days before so that way when I get there on Monday I’m used to the time change.”
Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland is hosting the July 18-21 British Open.
Koepka was speaking three days after finishing second to Gary Woodland in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, extending an astonishing run of having placed no worse than runner-up in the past four majors.
Koepka was seeking to win the U.S. Open for the third consecutive year, and was the last player to keep the heat on Woodland who won by three shots in the end.
“Last week was pretty solid, second place, played great and unfortunately didn’t make enough putts to win but hat’s off the Gary,” said the 29-year-old from Florida.
“Not everything is results-based with me. It’s about the process and I think that’s why I’m able to play so well in the majors, because I’m not worried about winning, not worried about the pressure of being in first.”
Koepka has also learned to cope with being world number one, after first attaining top spot last October, and holding it on and off since.
“It kind of consumed me (at first),” he said. “Being that it was my first time at number one, I didn’t really know how to handle it.
“That’s what I was so focused on I couldn’t focus on the golf whereas now, if I play good golf it’s all going to take care of itself.”
Koepka is the headliner this week at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, where Bubba Watson is defending champion.
Others playing include Francesco Molinari, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson.
Norwegian Viktor Hovland will make his professional debut, four days after finishing as best amateur in the U.S. Open.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond