Brooks Koepka Regrets Perception of Comments, Not Intent

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka 2019 Masters
Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka look on during the Par 3 Contest prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In an interview with Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch, Brooks Koepka said he regrets the perception of his much-debated comments last Sunday, but not the intent.

Lynch, one of the few in the media who had the correct take on Koepka’s overblown boasting last Saturday night, got an exclusive with the four-time major winner, and it is well worth the read.

During the interview, Koepka says – as we understood all along – he was directing his shot at Dustin Johnson, e.g. the “TOP OF THE LEADERBOARD”, and that it was not an all-encompassing trolling of the leaderboard – or even particularly the two other one-time major winners, Justin Rose and Jason Day, who were a shot back of Koepka.

“I was well back and I saw DJ was at minus-9. I birdied to get to minus-7. I was focused on Dustin. I had no idea who was at 8 or with me at 7,” explained Koepka.

Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose  2020 PGA Championship
Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose walk across the third green during the third round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on Aug 8, 2020 in San Francisco, CA. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

“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.”

Lynch then asked the Florida native to confirm his statement of regret – that it came off as a shot at everyone on the leaderboard, and not just the man he was chasing, Johnson.

Jena Sims Paulina Gretzky Ryder Cup
Jena Sims (Brooks Koepka) takes a selfie with Paulina Gretzky (Dustin Johnson) before the Ryder Cup Gala dinner at the Palace of Versailles ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup on Sep. 26, 2018 in Versailles, France. Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

“Yeah, it’s definitely that part because that’s a shot at all the other guys,” continued Koepka. “We pretty much know everybody, we grew up playing golf with them and it came across that I had no idea who these guys are. And that’s completely false.”

In an earlier interview, also with Lynch – ahead of the PGA Championship, Koepka claimed his so-called close relationship with DJ was essentially a media creation and that he’s something of a loner on Tour.

“That got blown out of proportion because we worked out in the same gym. We no longer do that,” said Koepka. “All of last year at least we weren’t working out together. I’ve got all the friends I need, friends that I grew up with and enjoy being around. They’re not big into the golf scene.

“I don’t go play with guys when I’m at home. I don’t stick to myself, but if I’m practicing I’m not trying to help other guys out at the same time. I’m not going to tee it up in a practice round with guys. I feel like you’re giving them an advantage in how you see the golf course and strategy.”

When asked who his close friends were on the Tour, Koepka said he’s not particularly close with anyone.

“I’m not close with any of the guys out here. We are friends, but at the same time I’ve got enough friends,” said Koepka. “I see these guys 22 weeks of the year. When I go home I don’t need to see them for another 30 weeks, you know?”

Read it all at Golfweek.

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