Brooks Koepka made some rare October golf headlines last week when he said there was "no rivalry" between himself and Rory McIlroy because the Irish golfer's lack of recent success in major tournaments.
“I’ve been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour. So I just don’t view it as a rivalry,” Koepka told the AFP.
“I’m not looking at anybody behind me,” he added. “I’m No. 1 in the world. I’ve got open road in front of me and I’m not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don’t see it as a rivalry.”
The comments were viewed by some as shade, though Koepka was mostly just being honest. It doesn't look like McIlroy took them as a shot, either.
McIlroy responded during Monday’s Japan Skins match.
"What Brooks said wasn't wrong," he said.
“I don’t think he had to remind me that I hadn’t won one in a while,” McIlroy added. “But I love Brooks, he’s a great guy and obviously super competitive like we all are. I guess I can see where he’s coming from; we’re out here, we can’t control anyone else, we just have to play our own golf. And look, I said a couple things after the Tour Championship that I approached that final round like a rivalry because he got one over on me in Memphis and I sorta wanted to get him back.”
A fiery rivalry between two of the sport's best players would be fun, but it doesn't look like either side is up for it. And that's OK.