One year ago, Brooks Koepka was punching his hand through the rear window of a car after missing the cut at the Masters.
Fifty-two weeks later, he's dominating Augusta National.
Koepka was one of the biggest names to jump ship to the LIV Tour last year, despite originally being critical of those who defected.
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The 32-year-old took the golf world by storm several years ago, winning four majors in a two-year span. However, injuries derailed him for a long while after.
After tearing a patella tendon, he won just one PGA event from mid-July until his move to LIV, and his results in majors last year were abysmal. His two missed cuts sandwiched finishes of T-55th at the PGA Championship and 55th at the U.S. Open.
Koepka said on Friday that his knee didn't start to feel normal again until late last year, and he said after his bogey-free 67 on Friday that had he been healthy, he may have never joined LIV.
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“Honestly, yeah probably, if I’m being completely honest,” he said when asked whether his decision to join LIV would have been more challenging had he been healthy. “But I’m happy with the decision I made.”
Koepka admitted that he was never sure he'd return to his current Augusta form.
“The only time I ever thought about not playing was if I couldn't move the way I wanted to. If I wasn't going to be able to move the way I wanted to, I didn't want to play the game anymore. It's just that simple. There was definitely moments of that last year. Last year was pretty tough . . .,” he said. “But a lot better now.”
Koepka also said he misses competing against the best, namedropping the top-three ranked golfers in the world in Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, all of whom are still with the PGA.
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Koepka's -12 score comes from just one bogey in 36 holes. He has 11 birdies – eight of them from round one – and an eagle from the par-five eighth on Friday.