June 5, 2019 / 8:48 PM / 3 months ago

Canada result of no concern to Koepka as he eyes U.S. Open

(Reuters) - Brooks Koepka arrived at this week’s Canadian Open as the star attraction but said he does not really care about his result as long as he leaves with his game sharp ahead of next week’s U.S. Open.

FILE PHOTO: May 19, 2019; Bethpage, NY, USA; Brooks Koepka reacts on the 14th green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bethpage State Park - Black Course. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Two-times defending U.S. Open champion Koepka has played the week before each of his four major championship victories, and is happy to use the preceding event as a tune-up for the bigger stakes that follow.

“It doesn’t really matter about the result. I couldn’t care less what happens,” the American said on Wednesday at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ontario, a comment that will not win any prizes for diplomacy.

“It’s just how I feel I’ve played, am I hitting enough good shots and really finding a rhythm?

“I just want to feel good going into next week.”

The U.S. Open runs from June 13-16 at Pebble Beach, where the 29-year-old has a chance to become the first player in over a century to win the tournament in three consecutive years.

Koepka had two weeks off after winning the PGA Championship at Bethpage last month, and says he did not touch a club during the fortnight, preferring to relax before hopefully playing his way back into form in Canada.

“As long as I can leave feeling confident, striking the ball very well, starting it where I want to, finishing where I want to, hit some good putts, it doesn’t matter if they go in or not, I just want to feel confident leaving.”

The Canadian Open is the world’s third oldest national championship, first played in 1904, and it has a bumper field this year after moving to an earlier timeslot in the schedule.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson is playing, Rory McIlroy makes his first appearance, while Justin Thomas is teeing up as he plays his way back from a wrist injury that caused him to miss the PGA Championship.

Officials have presented a Hamilton course with plenty of rough, which prompted a thumbs up from Koepka.

“I think it’s actually a perfect set-up for next week,” he said.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Toby Davis

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