The Open 2019: Brooks Koepka, seven off the lead, just made a seriously bold declaration

July 20, 2019

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Brooks Kopeka has never been lacking in the confidence department, and this year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush is no exception.

Though Koepka is seven shots behind 54-hole leader Shane Lowry, Koepka didn’t hold back when he was asked to assess his game in a post-round interview on Saturday.

“Nobody has hit it better than me this week,” Koepka declared. “I’ve hit it as good as I could possibly imagine.”

The problem, then?

“I putted the worst in the entire field, if you look at strokes gained. I don’t know if they have that. It’s been really bad. Very frustrating. Disappointed.”

Kopeka is on an incredible run in major championships, with only one finish outside the top 13 in his last 12 appearances. Though he has a lot of ground to cover on Sunday, he believes he still has a chance.

“The last time Shane had the lead at Oakmont [in 2016] we saw that,” Koepka said. “In links golf all of a sudden a couple of bad bounces and you never know or in a couple of bunkers.”

Another thing that may work in Koepka’s favor on Sunday? The weather. Tee times were moved up by over an hour to avoid the brunt of the awful forecast.

“I need it,” Koepka said of the tough conditions expected on Sunday. “Being, what, seven back. Here you need some wind, you need some rain. You need anything that can kind of go your way. And that’s got to be an advantage. Especially the way I’m striking the ball. I’ve struck it so good. If it’s going to be windy, you need to be able to strike it good, control your flight, and figure out where you want the ball to end up. If it’s going to blow 30, it can get out of control very quickly.”

Koepka tees off alongside J.B. Holmes at 8:37 a.m. ET in the penultimate pairing on Sunday.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.