Brooks Koepka admits at the Travelers Championship: “I’m awful the week after a Major”

He carded a 1-under-par 69 at TPC River Highlands, but wasn’t happy.

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It used to be said of cricketing legend David Gower that fans of Leicestershire (his team) saw the worst of him.

The problem was that the left-handed batsman, a lover of the high life, found it difficult to motivate himself for county cricket once he had competed at the highest level.

It's highly unlikely that Brooks Koepka would know who David Gower is, but he would definitely feel a kinship with the dilemma he was confronted with.

Ahead of last week's US Open, Koepka missed the cut at the Palmettto Championship and then admitted: "I just have a harder time focusing at regular PGA Tour events than I do Majors.

"In Majors, I'm locked in from the moment I hit the first tee shot. Even walking from the first tee shot to the ball, my head is still working on what I need to do. Out here I kind of lose focus for a little bit.

"I thrive on the bigger stage, that big moment where there's a bunch of fans and a tough golf course. I love it.

"That's why I struggle, I think, in regular events. The focus, the energy, the excitement level just isn't there when it would be in a major."

He concluded: "I've got to figure it out."

Well, in this week's Travlers Championship, he's not figured it out. Instead, he's discovered a different version of the same problem.

After posting a 1-under-par 69 which left him T45th and six shots back of the lead, he admitted: "I'm awful the week after a major, especially the US Open, because it takes so much out of you.

"But still, I should have played better. No excuse. I mean, I am kind of tired. I'll enjoy getting to bed tonight."

Asked to elaborate, he revealed that not a lot was working.

"Pretty flat, that's kind of how I feel," he said.

"I was pretty poor the first couple holes. Couldn't figure out speed of the greens. They're a lot faster than the putting greens, so struggled with the speed.

"And the swing. Didn't feel like I swung it that great. It was all kind of ho-hum."

Let's take a closer look at Koepka's record in the week after Majors.

Koepka in the week after a US Open

2019 Travelers Championship: carded a first round 71 (T112th) but rebounded with a 66 to make the cut and finish T57th.

2018 Travelers Championship: outside the top 30 all week before a Sunday 65 earned T19th.

Koepka celebrates victory at the 2017 US Open
Koepka celebrates victory at the 2017 US Open

2014 Travelers Championship: this time he actually started with a 65 to lie tied ninth before rounds of 72-71-69 left him T51st. Possible explanation? His fourth place in the previous week's US Open was his first Major Championship top five so maybe he experienced a brief high before the physical, mental and emotional efforts took their toll.

Koepka in the week after the PGA Championship

2020 Wyndham Championship: in a low-scoring event his scores of 72-70 were never going to make the cut.

2016 Travelers Championship: tied ninth carding 67-70-64-69.

2015 Wyndham Championship: he opened with a 67 to lie T35th and made progress all week to land tied sixth.

2014 Wyndham Championship: made the cut, but was T63rd going into the final round before carding a 64 to earn T38th.

Koepka in the week after the Open

2019 St Jude Invitational: opened with a 68 for T18th and then scythed through the field to claim a three shot victory - did it help his motivation that it was a World Golf Championship event?

2018 Canadian Open: the Trans-Atlantic flights didn't help - he carved 77-70 to miss the cut.

2015 Canadian Open: a first Open top 10 (and just the second Major top 10, too) perhaps aided his effort in Canada as he carded three 68s to lie tied fourth with 18 holes to play, but perhaps it also caught up with him? A final round 74 saw him finish T18th.

Conclusions? The numbers seem to back Koepka's assertions. Generally speaking it seems he struggles and the one exception - indeed the only top five in ten starts - was a win in a big event.

READ MORE: Bubba Watson back in comfort zone and new favourite for the Travelers Championship

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