“I played good and drove it well, putted well, chipped it well,” Koepka said. “Did everything very solid. Missed it in the correct spots and never really felt like I was having to work too hard out there, so that’s a little different than it has been. I guess that’s why I put in all the work.”
Koepka will also defend next week PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco where he will be attempting to win his third consecutive PGA Championship title.
Rickie Fowler sits in a tie with Brendon Todd for second place at two shots back after opening with a 64.
“Today was an accumulation of the work last week and just freeing myself up and simplifying thoughts and just playing golf versus working on the range,” Fowler said. “I was able to get a lot of good work with the putter last week and get myself back into some better positions to free up the putter. I was pulling a lot of putts, I was kind of tense with it, so it’s nice to see things kind of pay off.”
Justin Thomas can become the No. 1 player in the world again with a victory this week in Memphis. He fired a 66 and is in a tie for fifth with a group that also includes Max Homa.
The current no. 1, Jon Rahm, who moved up to the top spot following his win two weeks ago at the Memorial, opened with a 70 to sit in a tie for 36th.
Rory McIlroy was the top player in the world prior to Rahm and he could also regain the No. 1 ranking with a win this week. He opened with a 73 and is tied for 67th.
Due to inclement weather in the forecast, tee times have been moved up to 7-9 a.m. CT in threesomes off Nos. 1 and 10.