Brooks Koepka rights the ship to stay tied at the top
Brooks Koepka was in danger of falling off the leaderboard Friday after a shaky five-hole stretch but recovered and finds himself at the midway point of the Masters as he was after the first day: tied for first.
Koepka shot 1-under-par 71 to put him at 7-under for the tournament, part of a five-way tie at the top of a star-studded leaderboard.
Photos: Koepka's Second Round
“I figured it out myself,” Koepka said when asked how he handles the pressure of a major. “I don't really ask too many people … how to go about it in a major championship. I think I've come up with a good game plan. I just know mentally that I'm going to be there and no matter how bad I'm playing, no matter what's going on, I'll be able to find it.”
Koepka needed to figure out something Friday after six holes. He played bogey-free Thursday, by the sixth hole Friday he had two bogeys and a double bogey.
“You're going to be tested in a major championship one way or another, and you know, I've just got to deal with whatever comes,” he said. “I hit a bad shot, just got to suck it up and just keep going on. You've got a lot of holes left, and you can make up some ground.”
Koepka’s problems started when he double-bogeyed the par-5 second hole after hitting his tee shot into the woods and requiring a drop. He got back one of those shots with a birdie on No. 3, but he bogeyed two of the next three holes, both par-3s.
Koepka played the final 11 holes in 3-under, including a birdie at No. 18 thanks to an approach shot that landed 8 feet from the pin.
“I'm proud of myself the way I hung in there,” he said. “I did come right back and birdie 3 – I'm usually pretty good at that, my bounce‑back stats are pretty good, I think part of that is just because my temperament. I never get too down and just focus on the next one.
“But to be where I'm at, as badly as I putted and hit the ball today, I'm pleased with it.”
Photos: 2019 Masters Round 2
For Koepka, all it meant was he put himself in a good position.
“You can't win it on Friday,” he said. “So there's no point in getting too excited on a Friday and wasting your energy or whatever it might be. You've still got a lot of golf to play, so you've just got to hang in there.”