Brooks Koepka did not play well in the final round of the PGA Championships and the comments he made on Saturday gave fans a lot of ammunition for trash talk.
Prior to Sunday’s final round, Koepka appeared to take a shot at the players ahead of him on the leaderboard. The four-time major winner was at -7 and the leader, Dustin Johnson, was at -9. There were several other players at -7 and -8.
Koepka indicated that he wasn’t afraid of anyone on the leaderboard because no one above him had as many majors as he does.
“A lot of the guys on the leaderboard, I don’t think have won, I guess DJ has only won one. I don’t know a lot of the other guys up there,” Koepka said on Saturday.
Koepka went on to play horribly on Sunday, finishing 10 strokes back of the champion, Collin Morikawa. He was asked by Golfweek today if he regretted his pre-round comments.
I talked to @BKoepka tonight about whether he regrets his DJ comments, his reaction to Rory’s criticism & if he’s bothered that some folks think he’s a mouthy jerk.https://t.co/1wg4FRpaU6 via @golfweek
— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) August 13, 2020
“I was focused on Dustin. I had no idea who was at 8 or with me at 7. To be honest, when I’m looking at a leaderboard I’m never looking at who is behind me or tied with me, I only look ahead. I view myself as going forward no matter what. So I regret that part of it. That’s what I was trying to say — that I didn’t know who was on the leaderboard at that point because I hadn’t looked. I just genuinely didn’t know the guys at 8 and 7. That part I regret and I wish I had used different words because I didn’t pay enough attention to who was under Dustin because he was my main focus,” Koepka said.
Koepka had faced criticism from fans and, more notably, Rory McIlroy.
“It’s a very different mentality to bring to golf that I don’t think a lot of golfers have,” McIlroy said of Koepka. “I was watching the golf last night and heard the interview and was just sort of taken aback a little bit by sort of what he said and whether he was trying to play mind games or not.”
Koepka is certainly unlike most golfers on tour, both when it comes to his dominance at majors and his overall brashness when speaking to the media.
It makes the game more entertaining, but it’s understandable if it rubs some people the wrong way.
You can read his full interview with Golfweek here.