Brooks Koepka is hoping to carry on the momentum from his win at the Turkish Airlines Open despite a bad case of food poisoning that has severely hampered his preparation in Dubai this week.
The American came down with food poisoning on the flight to the UAE from Turkey. The exact source of the illness is not known although he was pictured in a burger restaurant before boarding for Dubai.
Koepka withdrew from the proam on Tuesday, and did not turn up at the course yesterday until late in the afternoon and only hit a few putts.
The world No35 was scheduled for a media conference in the morning, which also had to be cancelled. However, Koepka, who is now sixth on the Race to Dubai and has a good chance of finishing second (which would earn him a bonus cheque of $800,000), has informed the Tour he will tee off today.
Koepka is paired with Sergio Garcia and is scheduled for a 12:10 start. According to Golf Channel, Koepka was on bed rest for the past two days and has lost 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilos) in weight since Sunday but did manage to hit a few balls yesterday, albeit without playing a round.
Koepka, one of only two Americans in the field along with David Lipsky, said: “I feel all right now. Obviously not as good as I’d like to be feeling, but it is what it is. I’ll just get through it and I’ll be fine.”
Koepka beat Ian Poulter by one shot in Turkey last week, closing with a brilliant bogey-free round of seven-under par 65. The American shot to fame last year when he won three times on the Challenge Tour and earned a battlefield promotion.
He has been in great form this year, finishing tied third at Dubai Desert Classic and the European Masters and a tied fourth place at the US Open at Pinehurst.
He plans to play most of his golf next year in America but will still compete in a few events in Europe.
The only player missing this year from the top-60 of the Race to Dubai is England’s Paul Casey, who decided to return to the United States to be with his wife and newborn child.
Casey’s place in the field has been taken by the lucky Matteo Manassero, who was 61st in the Race to Dubai standings.
Mannassero will be first out on the Earth Course today, teeing off alongside England’s Matthew Baldwin at 07:30.
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