Brooks Koepka. David Cannon

Coming back from injury and two years of frustration and internal conflict over his game, Brooks Koepka’s 2023 season got off to another inauspicious start at the PIF Saudi International at Royal Greens near Jeddah.

The then-four-time major winner posted a three-under total for a tie of 46th place and 16 strokes behind winner Abraham Ancer at King Abdullah Economic City.

However, the American knew his game was just where he wanted it to be as he geared up for a big season now he was back to full fitness.

Koepka doesn’t have a crystal ball but be definitely knew what he was doing as his ‘warm-ups’ led to a T2 at the Masters in Augusta before he claimed his fifth major at the PGA Championship in New York last week.

Speaking about his preparations for the challenges ahead, Koepka told me back at the start of February: “I’m not really doing anything different. I am just trying to play. I usually get off to a slow start and I am just trying to play some rounds and shake off the rust from the winter break.

“I normally don’t really get going, where I feel like I am firing on all cylinders, until March, so I am just getting some rounds under my belt here at the Saudi International and in the International Series [Muscat] next week. That’s what this is for.

“I am aiming for about 17 rounds before Augusta — which is probably about right. It takes me a while to get going, but I will be ready to kick it into gear ahead of the Masters. I am just trying to knock rust off and play myself into my rhythm. Nothing has changed and I plan my year around the majors and will make sure I am playing well for those.”

Fairly astute from the now-five-time major winner!

During his time in Saudi, Koepka also showed his shot-making confidence had returned as, during the second round, he blasted a wonderful bunker shot on the 18th from around 230 yards to around four feet (with a 7-iron! Over the water!), making it look like the most simple thing in the world.

“I think we were about 228, so it was a good 7-iron, just hit it right in there,” he told me matter-of-factly after his 67. “Obviously it’s downwind, but I’m just trying to put it on the green. I’m hitting better shots.”

Yes, he is, and with the US Open around the corner, Koepka’s game is right where he wants it!