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USATSI

Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the Northern Trust due to injury, ending his 2019-20 PGA Tour season before the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. 

Koepka ranks No. 7 in the Official World Golf Rankings, but No. 97 in the FedEx Cup Standings heading into this week’s first playoff event at TPC Boston. The four-time major winner needed a strong performance to make it into the top-70 of the standings in order to advance to the BMW Championship. 

Though the specifics of the injury concern were not detailed in the PGA Tour’s official announcement, Koepka suffered a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee in 2019. He missed the Presidents Cup and has battled through knee pain even in the restart, but indicated after a strong showing at the WGC St. Jude Invitational in Memphis that things were improving. Koepka appeared healthy as he made a run at the three-peat at the PGA Championship at Harding Park earlier this month, but his final round 74 left him out of the hunt as Collin Morikawa went on to win the Wannamaker Trophy in San Francisco. Koepka finished T29.

Koepka loaded up his schedule with six straight events as he tried to improve his standing in the FedEx Cup hunt in an attempt to give himself a shot at making the Tour Championship, a move that stands against the reputation of a player who “only cares about majors.” Last week, Koepka appeared worn down from the workload as he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship, and this decision to withdraw due to injury likely comes as a consequence of that loaded schedule and his effort, on a still-recovering knee, to give himself a shot in the playoffs.