Brooks Koepka was off to a strong start at the Masters, co-leading with Bryson DeChambeau after the first round. The leaders shot 6-under 66 during the first round at Augusta National, and Koepka was drawing a lot of attention to not only his game but his demeanor. Koepka’s weight was a big topic of conversation during the first round. On Friday’s “Off the Bench” podcast, Danny Kanell and Raja Bell place discuss the talk surrounding Koepka.
“We’re not gonna make the same mistake everyone else does,” Kanell said. “They overlook him; they don’t give him the credit he deserves. My man is playing some of the best golf in this stretch, this past year of golf, that anybody in the history of golf has. And yet, it’s always like, ‘Meh, does he have a chance to win?’ Maybe. He’s a bomber, but can he really win here?'”
Bell thinks it works out well for Koepka.
“There’s no real pressure from that position,” he said. “I guess that goes hand in hand with having a chip on your shoulder. … It’s much easier playing as a hunter than being the hunted.”
The two added that Koepka’s weight loss becoming a story was insane. Koepka lost weight for ESPN Magazine‘s Body Issue, and Bell simply said that “you don’t get to the Body Issue by being a doughy dude.” Ultimately, his game seems fine.
There’s a long weekend ahead, so Koepka hasn’t sealed anything up — and he even slipped on Friday. But if nothing else, he’s off to a great start. And that’s a big part of the battle.