Brooks Koepka kept it simple to post 5-under-par 67 in round one at the WGC-Workday Championship

The four-time Major Champion was a happy man after his performance on the greens fuelled a leap into a tie for third place on the leaderboard.

After carding an excellent opening round of 5-under-par 67 at the WGC-Workday Championship, Brooks Koepka admitted that it had been achieved with precious little experience of playing the course.

The 30-year-old swapped six birdies and one bogey in his opening salvo at The Concession Club, good enough for a four-way share of third, one blow behind the early pacesetters Webb Simpson and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

"I played nine holes in the Pro-Am, but that was it," he said after the round, before going on to explain that his favoured strategy is a straightforward one.

"I get given a yardage book," he said of being a novice on half the course. "It's not too difficult. It is what it is.

"You look up on the tee, you know on the 10th that there's water right and there's bunkers on the left, so put it in the fairway."

Keep it simple, stupid

Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, the course architects, might have winced as the subtleties of their design were overlooked, but Koepka further explained that his best golf is often sustained by an approach that dispenses with the perils of over-analysis.

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"Yeah, I don't think too much," he said. "I just try to keep it pretty simple. If it's 300 yards to the bunker then it's just 3-wood.

"I just try to make golf as simple as possible and I think that's where some of the confusion about me (arises).

"I don't over-complicate it.

"I'm not thinking the club's got to be in a certain position to do this or do that. Just get up there, see it, hit it."

If Koepka was solid tee-to-green in the first round (he ranked top 25 for the three Strokes Gained long game categories without cracking the top 15 for any of them), he was excellent on the green, gaining 2.742 shots on the field to rank fourth.

The highlight of the day was a 35-foot birdie conversion on his 17th hole of the day (the 18th); the lowlight a three-putt from 12-feet at the 16th.

But he mopped up five birdie putts from short range and he drained par saves from eight, nine and ten feet, each one a vital momentum-maintainer.

Home comforts

He suspected that what he lacked in course knowledge, he made up for with his his Florida roots - he was born and bred in the Sunshine state and still resides there.

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"I don't know if it's just a couple of the changes I've made in putting, just a couple adjustments," he speculated.

"Or it's just the fact of being back on Bermuda greens, it could be either one, I'm not quite sure, but it does feel nice to be on Bermuda, that's for sure.

"I'm excited to be in Florida.

"Other than that, I've been striking the ball so well. I love my new irons.

"The flight on them, it's a little higher and just I'm striking the ball so well, so I expect to be there on Sunday."

* Koepka is priced 13/2 to win the WGC-Workday Championship with Paddy Power.

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