Putting the key to Pebble success – Koepka

Updated: 07/12/2023

Brooks Koepka (10/1 – US Open Outright) has revealed he will be leaving the driver in the bag for the majority of this week’s US Open at Pebble Beach while insisting a strong putting performance will be crucial to lifting the trophy.

Defending champion Koepka will be aiming to make history this week as he attempts to become only the second player after Willie Anderson (1903-05) to win the US Open three times in a row.

The world number one, who is the only player in history to hold back-to-back titles in two majors simultaneously, won the US PGA Championship at Bethpage last month and has only had one appearance since that triumph.

Surprisingly, the 29-year-old American was left out of Fox Sports’ coverage ahead of the US Open and that snub has provided him with extra motivation to prove any doubters that remain, wrong.

Pebble Beach to bear its teeth, with the rough thicker, fairways tighter and the greens some of the smallest around, and Koepka believes a hot putter will be key to victory.

“It’s just another golf tournament,” he said. “I have to go out and do what I’m supposed to do. And it’s going to be a tough test this week, we you all know that.

“The rough is definitely going to be a factor this week. It’s very, very thick. Very juicy. You’ve got to put the ball in the fairways. Not many drivers here. I don’t need driver that much, maybe four times this week.

“These greens are so small, you can almost put it in the centre of every green and have 20 feet, no matter where the flag stick is. It really comes down to who’s going to make putts.”

World number two Dustin Johnson, who famously collapsed at the 2010 US Open when leading by three shots going into the final round, is the 8/1 favourite to triumph, while RBC Canadian Open winner Rory McIlroy is 6/5 with Betfred’s Pick Your Punt to be in the top 20 after round one.

Odds subject to change

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