The Root of Brooks Koepka’s PGA Tour Withdrawal? Literally a Tree Root


Sep. 5 2021, Published 2:43 p.m. ET

After hearing that his PGA Tour season ended abruptly, fans are wondering what happened to Brooks Koepka. (And no, we’re not talking about that butterfly that seemed to help his birdie putt into the hole.)

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We’re sorry to report that the golfer withdrew from the Tour Championship during his third round at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 4, after hurting his left wrist.

“Same wrist I had issues with in ’17 and ’18, so I’m just making sure it’s all good,’” Brooks said after his withdrawal, according to ESPN.

Brooks suffered the injury on the 10th hole.

Brooks injured his left wrist on the 10th hole of the golf club when he hit a tree root. He lasted two more holes, dropping his club and shaking out his left arm after taking a swing at Hole 11.

But eventually, the 31-year-old gave it up. “Just saw him up in the locker room with his caddy, Ricky Elliott,” commentator Steve Sands said during NBC Sports’ coverage of the event. “They were cleaning things out, and they were going to get out of town. Very disappointed, as you can imagine.”

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Steve also recapped the tour-ending injury: “To the right of 10, after he hit his tee shot, he was in the rough. Everybody knows that the thick Bermuda rough here at East Lake can be nasty. … He and Rick said just moments ago [that] they did not feel or see a root under that ball. … But back there in that rough, Brooks felt it immediately in the left wrist and the left forearm area, and he knew that something was wrong after hitting that root.”

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He has a long history of injuries.

As Golfweek notes, Brooks has sustained several injuries during his professional career, including a right knee strain that took him out of the 2021 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., this March.

In January 2018, Brooks took a time-out from golf to nurse a torn tendon in his left wrist, and in September 2019, he sought treatment for a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee, and that knee injury later caused a hip injury.

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As for Saturday’s mishap, commentator Jim “Bones” Mackay said the root that Brooks hit was “absolutely huge.”

“I can’t imagine the amount of damage that possibly could have done,” Bones added. “Certainly hoping that Brooks is OK, but this root is significant in size. … No idea it was there, he took a huge swing at it, and Brooks is a big, strong guy, so that was a forceful impact.”

He’s looking forward to the Ryder Cup later this month.

According to ESPN, Brooks withdrew from the FedEx Cup on Saturday at 3 over par for the round, but he won’t walk away empty-handed: He’ll receive bonus money of $395,000.

And the other good news is that Brooks and his team are already anticipating getting back on the green. “The first thing I asked up in the locker room was how we’re going to be in a few weeks here, because he’s expected to go to Whistling Straits [in Haven, Wis.] to represent the United States in the Ryder Cup,” Steve added during the broadcast. “And everybody just kind of took their foot off the gas and said, ‘We’ll be all right. We’ll see you in Wisconsin.’”

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