Brooks Koepka hoping mental fatigue will not hamper Travelers Championship chances
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 19/06/19 8:39pm
Brooks Koepka feels good about his game but admits he will need to overcome "mental exhaustion" if he is to contend for the Travelers Championship title this week.
Koepka made the coast-to-coast journey from Pebble Beach to TPC River Highlands in Connecticut after narrowly missing out on his historic bid for a third consecutive US Open victory, although he insisted there was little he could do to deny Gary Woodland in an enthralling finish to the third major of the year.
The world No 1 "didn't touch a club" on Monday or Tuesday before returning to the course for Wednesday morning's pro-am, and he is hopeful that his energy levels will be back to normal in time for his early first-round tee time on Thursday.
Koepka also played in the event last year the week after his successful US Open defence at nearby Shinnecock Hills, so he at least finds himself in familiar territory in terms of how he deals with the physical and mental exertions of teeing it up straight after a major.
"Last year I don't even think I knew where was at," Koepka said, who finished a respectable tied for 19th last year, eight shots adrift of Ryder Cup team-mate Bubba Watson. "Even coming in on Saturday, Sunday morning it was all kind of a whirlwind. It's a lot different when you win and you're trying to play the week after. It's a bit hectic, chaotic.
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"But I wouldn't have missed this tournament. This week obviously it's a little bit easier, but it's difficult still. I just kind of feel mentally exhausted from last week just being in contention.
"I just took Tuesday and obviously Monday off, and I didn't touch a club. Then I came out today and you feel more rested than you would have if you were out practising.
"It's difficult not just because it's cross country but because emotionally, mentally the toll it takes being in contention. It's a little different than it would be if it was another PGA Tour event or another event where you're not in contention, just not as draining."
Koepka faced accusations of disrespecting the RBC Canadian Open a fortnight ago when he suggested that he "didn't care" where he finished, but he insisted that was not the case.
"Let me set the record straight, it's not that I don't care about the event," he added. "Some people took it a little bit differently and ran with it, but you can't believe everything you read. What I was trying to get at is it's about the process.
"Every week, even last week, it doesn't matter. I don't care where I finish. Last week it's about the process of how am I going to start it online, finish it online, and then make the putt?
"I know sometimes it doesn't happen, I can't control the result, but I wouldn't tee it up if I didn't want to win. Not everything is results based with me. It's about the process. I think that's why I'm able to play so well in the majors, because I'm not worried about winning.
"I'm not worried about the pressure of being in first or trying to do something, accomplish three in a row, whatever it was. Even last week it's just about the process.
"So if I can get the process down the result is going to come, that's kind of how I feel. It's the same thing every week. Mentally, if my process is there, I'm excited. I even told my caddie today that we were going to try to take the mental approach we do at the majors this week. I'm going to try something maybe a little bit different and see how it works out."