Brooks Koepka: “I didn’t know if my career was over,” says US golfer as he reflects on injury scare after LIV Golf win.




CNN

An emotional Brooks Koepka scored a playoff victory in the final singles event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series on Sunday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The four-time major champion faced fellow American Peter Uihlein on the third extra hole after the pair finished at 12-under as Koepka sealed his maiden title on the inaugural tour and his first victory since winning on the PGA Tour. WM Phoenix Open – February 2021.

The victory gave the 32-year-old a $4 million cut of the tournament’s prize money, while runner-up Uihlein took home $2.1 million.

The $4 million payout is three times Koepka’s earnings for the 2021-22 PGA Tour season, where he earned $1.3 million in 16 events, according to the Tour’s website.

Koepka has been plagued by several injuries over the past year, revealing that he “stretched and cracked” his right knee after rupturing his left patellar tendon in 2019.

“I blew out my knee and pointed my foot almost backwards and to the side,” a visibly shaken Koepka told reporters.

“The last two years have not been fun. It’s been a long road. I didn’t know my career was over for half a 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.”

Along with brother Chase Koepka, Uihlein and Jason Kokrak, the four-time reigning champion also took victory in the respective team classification.

This month, a team tournament in Miami will offer a $50 million prize pool, marking the final event of the LIV Golf Series.

For the younger sibling, a new set of wheels seems to be in order.

“Honestly, the big thing for me today was getting the win for the team,” Koepka said.

“I told my brother I was going to buy him a Lambo [Lamborghini] if we won the team, so now I have to go buy one.’

On the other hand, Adrian Otaegui became the first player to participate in the LIV Golf Series to win on the DP World Tour, after winning at home in the Andalucia Masters in Spain.

The 29-year-old, who has played three events at LIV Golf, finished a comfortable six shots ahead of Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren to seal his fourth Real Club Valderrama Tour victory.

After shooting 64 on Saturday, the Spaniard finished with a 19-under 68, a new tournament record.

Otaegui celebrates the trophy.

Otaegui has competed in nine DP World Tour events since appearing at the LIV Golf event in London in June, finishing third at the Hero Open in July, before finishing 13th at the BMW PGA Championship and the French Open.

“I’m very, very proud,” Otaegui told reporters.

“I’m so happy to have my first win in Spain, in front of this crowd, on my favorite golf course in Spain.

“It’s unbelievable. I’m very, very happy with everything, the week went perfectly.”