Column: 'Big Game Brooks' faces major test to his reputation

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Brooks Koepka, left, walks with instructor Pete Cowen during practice for the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO – Brooks Koepka now has gone more than a full year without winning, a drought he hasn't experienced since he was still new enough on the PGA Tour that his name was mistakenly pronounced “cupcake.”

If it doesn't seem like a full year, that's because it really wasn't.

Three months were lost when he injured his left knee in October from slipping off a wet slab of concrete while walking off the tee at the CJ Cup in South Korea. Another three months were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Either way, the PGA Championship should be the perfect place to end it.

It's a major, and Koepka believes those are the easiest for him to win. He said that last year going into the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, right before he set the major championship record for the lowest 36-hole score (128), built a seven-shot lead and held on to win.

And he doubled down on that belief Tuesday.

“Yeah, I still feel that way,” Koepka said. “The way the golf course sets up eliminates pretty much half the guys. And then from there, half of those guys probably won't play well. Then from there, I feel like mentally I can beat the other half. So you've probably got 10 guys.”

The math was a little off, but Koepka isn't about to get caught up in minutiae.