2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure, Rory McIlroy vs. Brooks Koepka: Roller Coaster
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy
His tee shot is going wayyyy left…
You know it’s bad when the spectators in the bleachers to the left of the green don’t duck, but instead collectively turn their heads to watch the ball whizzing behind them.
As you meander in that direction with the pack, some of the old-timers in attendance insist they can’t remember a ball ever winding up that far left. By the time Koepka gets it into the hole, he’s made a triple-bogey, erasing those opening birdies for a whirlwind four-hole scorecard that shows him at even-par so far.
That will prove to be a theme for his entire round.
He makes birdie on 5. Bogey on 6. Double on 7. Birdie on 8. Birdie on 9.
It all shakes out to a mind-numbing even-par 36 for the front-nine, as he out-Mickelsons even Mickelson and demonstrates the entire range of his current game.
The performance is equal parts remarkably impressive and maddeningly preposterous. At any moment, Koepka is showing that he is capable of hitting the ball better than any other golfer in the entire world — or with all the adeptness of an 18-handicap.
Through it all, he reaches the 10th tee at 9-under, right where he started the day.
He’s not out of contention, but he’s not exactly in it, either. Koepka has now fallen to a share of seventh place, which could mean Good Brooks will put a scare into the leaders on the back-nine, or Bad Brooks could will continue hitting the ball like an 18-handicap.
All of which leaves you so grossly engaged in his story that you continue walking with this group, asking yourself as they make the turn:
Which Koepka will show up on the back-nine?
- The guy who is capable of hitting it better than anyone in the world.
- The guy who is capable of hitting it like an 18-handicap at any moment.