Putter sparks Koepka to career-low 62

Brooks Koepka is well known for his high-flying drives, but it was his prowess with the putter that helped him grab a spot on the early leaderboard at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Koepka shot an opening-round 62 at TPC Summerlin, marking the lowest round of his fledgling PGA Tour career. At 9 under, he shares second place with John Huh, two shots behind leader Rod Pampling.

Koepka had a middling performance last week at the WGC-HSBC Champions, where he tied for 40th. But he flew straight from China to Las Vegas, intent on getting in some early work with his putter. Those efforts paid immediate dividends, as he made four putts over 20 feet and needed only 24 total putts to complete his round.

“Obviously made a lot of putts today,” Koepka said. “I felt like I was stroking the ball really well, speed was a lot better than it was last week. I grinded hard early in the week, making sure the putting was right, and it showed today.”

Koepka had a strong showing at the Ryder Cup, but this week marks just his second stroke-play start since the BMW Championship in September. With low scores abundant each year at this event, the 26-year-old knows he still has some work to do if he hopes to challenge for what would be his second career victory and first since the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“Obviously when you’ve got somebody that’s shooting 11 under, you can’t make any bogeys,” Koepka said. “I just need to clean up a few things and get it going for the weekend.”