Brooks Koepka withdraws from Northern Trust over knee issue

The knee issue that has bothered Brooks Koepka for the better part of a year has caused him to withdraw from the Northern Trust at TPC-Boston, ending his 2019-20 season and putting his status in doubt for next month’s U.S. Open.

Koepka is 97th in the FedEx Cup standings and would have needed a high finish to advance to next week’s BMW Championship. He’ll also miss the Tour Championship, where he tied for third last year.

Koepka withdrew because of a lingering knee and hip injury, according to the PGA Tour. He is ranked seventh in the world after beginning 2020 at No. 1.

The four-time major champion had a stem cell procedure on his left knee after last year’s Tour Championship, then aggravated the injury at a tournament in South Korea in October. He didn’t play again until January, and it mostly has been a struggle since then.

He finished seventh at the RBC Heritage after the PGA Tour’s restart and tied for second three weeks ago at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. He was then just 2 shots out of the lead heading into the final round of the PGA Championship, where he was trying to win the tournament for the third straight year.

But Koepka shot a final-round 74 to finish in a tie for 29th, then missed the cut last week at the Wyndham Championship, where he did not blame his knees for his issues.

“My golf swing’s fine,” he said after missing the cut last week. “If I can physically do it, then yes, everything’s fine.”

But Koepka has complained about trying to get to his left side in his swing, and he had a trainer help with his hip three times during the second round of the PGA Championship.

“It just locked up, cramped,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything with it.”

Since last year’s Tour Championship, Koepka has five missed cuts and six other finishes outside of the top 20.

The U.S. Open begins Sept. 17, four weeks from Thursday.

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