CJ Cup: Defending champion Brooks Koepka withdraws citing knee injury

CJ Cup: Defending champion Brooks Koepka withdraws citing knee injury”

In Friday's second round, Koepka shot a three-over par 75 and fell out of contention to repeat his win of 12 months ago at the US PGA Tour's $9.75 million tournament in South Korea, 13 shots adrift of leader Justin Thomas.

South Korea's An, who shot 69, shares second on 11-under going into the weekend with Seoul-born New Zealander Danny Lee, whose 66 could have been better but for a bogey at 18.

Thomas, the inaugural CJ Cup victor in 2017, blasted out of the blocks on a blustery morning on the side of Mount Halla, Korea's highest mountain that dominates Jeju Island.

Thomas birdied his first four holes and was 6-under after 10 holes.

Emiliano Grillo (66) and former world number one Jordan Spieth (65) are four shots off the pace ahead of Saturday's penultimate round.

Koepka, the victor at the Nine Bridges course a year ago, had a day to forget with five bogeys in his three-over par round and ended the day 13 shots off the lead. "It came pretty easy, for the most part".

"I rolled in a lot of putts today, and certainly don't want to have to rely on that over the weekend".

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"I've actually had one hole-in-one on a par four, but never in competition".

"I'll take 63 on any conditions on any course any day, but it was very, very benign out there", Thomas said.

"It's definitely nice to have them but I definitely have more people here in Korea watching me", An said.

Ko has won two of the last four tournaments she has played and has won two Majors this year.

Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the CJ Cup due to a knee injury. That set up a tap-in eagle.

He has played in just one other event early in the 2019-20 season, but he didn't play well. The seven-time Tour victor won three times last season, also picking up wins at the PGA Championship and the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and had nine top-10 finishes - including a runner-up finish at the Masters, a T3 finish at the Tour Championship and a T4 finish at The Open Championship.

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