KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina (Reuters) - Brooks Koepka said the best medicine for his surgically repaired right knee was firing a second round 71 to sit one stroke off the lead and in sole possession of third place heading into the weekend at the PGA Championship.
The four-time major champion underwent surgery in mid-March after he dislocated his kneecap and sustained ligament damage, but said the knee did not bother him through his solid first two rounds at the windswept Ocean Course.
"Feels fine," Koepka said when asked the condition of his knee and the state of his game after his round. "I'm four-under, so it feels alright," he added with a grin and a wink.
The 31-year-old American, a big game hunter who frequently saves his best golf for the sport's biggest stages, said competing in the tournament was simple compared to the grueling rehabs he has been forced to endure multiple times in his career.
"This is all easy," he said. "Everything I did in rehab is a hell of a lot harder, I can promise you that."
The former world No. 1 has also struggled with left knee and hip issues in the past.
Despite trailing co-leaders Phil Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen by just one stroke, Koepka was typically tough on himself.
"C+," he said when asked to grade his eventful round, which mixed two eagles and a birdie with four bogeys due to some errant putts.
"I thought I struck it great, I drove it a lot better, but you still have to putt in this wind."
Koepka's quest for a third PGA Championship will resume on Saturday when he is paired with South African Branden Grace, who has two top-five finishes in his PGA Championship career.
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Writing by Rory Carroll; Editing by William Mallard)