Brooks Koepka: ‘I didn’t know if my career was over,’ says US golfer as he reflects on horror injury after bumper LIV Golf win
An emotional Brooks Koepka clinched playoff victory in the final individual event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
The four-time major champion edged American compatriot Peter Uihlein on the third extra hole after the duo had finished level at 12-under as Koepka sealed his maiden title on the inaugural tour, and his first win since triumph on the PGA Tour – at the WM Phoenix Open – in February 2021.
Victory secured the 32-year-old a $4 million cut of the tournament prize money, with runner-up Uihlein taking home $2.1 million.
The $4 million payout is triple Koepka’s total earnings for the 2021-22 PGA Tour season, where he earned $1.3 million across 16 events, according to the Tour’s website.
Over the last few year Koepka had been plagued by multiple injuries, revealing he had “dislocated and shattered” his right knee having torn his left patella tendon in 2019.
“I blew my knee out and my foot was pointed almost backwards and sideways,” a visibly emotional Koepka told reporters.
“The last two years, they haven’t been fun. It’s been a long road. I didn’t know if my career was over for a half-second … I wasn’t sure I was going to play.
“So it’s nice to be able to come back and be able to win.”
Alongside brother Chase Koepka, Uihlein, and Jason Kokrak, the four-time major champion also secured victory in the corresponding team leaderboard.
Later this month, a team tournament in Miami will offer a $50 million prize pot – marking the final event of the inaugural LIV Golf Series.
For the younger sibling, it looks set to secure him a new set of wheels.
“Honestly to me the big thing today was getting the team win,” Koepka said.
“I told my brother I’d buy him a Lambo [Lamborghini] if he we won the team thing, so now I’ve got to go buy one.”
Meanwhile, Adrian Otaegui became the first player to have featured on the LIV Golf Series to win on the DP World Tour after victory on home soil at the Andalucia Masters in Spain.
The 29-year-old, who has played three LIV Golf events, powered to a comfortable six-shot victory ahead of Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren to seal his fourth win on the Tour at Real Club Valderrama.
Having shot 64 on Saturday, a closing 68 saw the Spaniard card a 19-under finish, a new tournament record.
Otaegui has competed at nine DP World Tour events since his appearance at June’s inaugural LIV Golf event in London, finishing third at the Hero Open in July before placing 13th at both the BMW PGA Championship and the Open de France.
“I’m very, very proud,” Otaegui told reporters.
“I feel so happy to have my first win in Spain, in front of these crowds, on my favorite golf course in Spain.
“It’s just unbelievable. I’m very, very happy with everything, the week went perfect.”