Brooks Koepka will attempt to complete one of golf's greatest recoveries of all time by claiming his fifth Major title at the US Masters on Sunday night less than a month after undergoing knee surgery.
The 30-year-old finished joint second at the World Golf Championships event in his native Florida behind Collin Morikawa on February 28 before deciding to go under the knife after dislocating his kneecap and suffering ligament damage in early March.
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He missed the Players Championship and Honda Classic before having surgery on his right knee in California on March 16 and posting images of himself on crutches on social media on March 21.
Despite his problems, Koepka remarkably claimed to be hitting balls only a week after his operation as he said on Twitter: "Only 1 way to go from here."
The US Ryder Cup player – winner of the US Open in 2017 and 2018 and US PGA championship in 2018 and 2019 – is chasing a first Green Jacket with his best performance around Augusta coming when he shared second place with Xander Schauffele and defending champion Dustin Johnson two years ago, a stroke behind 15-times Major champion Tiger Woods.
He also enjoyed a seventh place finish alongside Pan Cheng-tsung and Jon Rahm in last November's delayed event.
"If I knew I was going to finish second, I wouldn't have shown up," said the world number 12 at Augusta after beginning his practice sessions before Thursday's opening day. "I feel I can win. I'll play – I'll be all right."
The eight-times PGA Tour winner is a 25-1 shot at Augusta after battling a hip injury and a neck problem while he also had to overcome an ongoing issue with his left knee last year after falling on concrete in 2019.
He was quick to poke fun at claims made by former Tour winner Brad Faxon that he could be missing for "6-8 months" by posting a picture of Basketball icon Michael Jordan with the caption: "..and I took that personally".
"The goal was to play Augusta and so we were going to see if we could play," he added. "A couple of bad days or anything like that it could set you back quite a while.
"It's been seven-plus hours every day in rehab. Between getting my neck straightened away and the knee I'm going to be living on the rehab table, making sure I can get comfortable and so it feels good."
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