Andrew Redington/Getty Images
By Joel Beall
PEBBLE BEACH — This winter, Brooks Koepka told us he was able to discover balance with his newfound celebrity and find peace with the conflicting interests that come with fame. He had conviction in the man he was, promising to show the world—a world he desperately kept at arm’s length—a different side of himself in 2019.
Thus far, Koepka has kept his word. Only that side of himself is one that does not suffer fools.
Koepka’s play has done plenty of talking this season with a win at the PGA Championship and runner-up at the Masters. The 29-year-old has also done plenty of talking behind the mic, taking slow play and Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee to task on multiple occasions.
On Tuesday at Pebble Beach, Koepka continued to hold nothing back, calling out FOX Sports and his fellow players, with a between-the-lines slight at Chamblee tossed in for good measure:
Regarding FOX Sports, which left Koepka—the No. 1 player in the world and two-time defending U.S. Open champ—out of one of its U.S. Open promos: “I actually didn’t see it for a long time. A bunch of people on Twitter I think tagged me in it, in the promo. And I guess [they] were amazed that I wasn’t in it. I just clicked on the link and saw it and watched it. Just kind of shocked. They’ve had over a year to kind of put it out. So I don’t know. Somebody probably got fired over it or should [laughter].”
For what it’s worth, FOX has Koepka featured in three of its four promos.
On players complaining about USGA course setups: “Yeah, I mean, I guess the only reason they’re complaining … I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course. So it really doesn’t make a difference. It doesn’t make a difference … if you put it in the fairway and you hit every green, there’s really no problem, is there?
“So obviously they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. So they’re not playing good enough. If they put it in the fairway, you shouldn’t have to complain about the rough. You hit the greens and you hit it close, you shouldn’t have to complain about the greens.
“I’ve just never been one to complain, make excuses. It doesn’t matter. Nobody wants to hear anybody’s excuse. I find it annoying even when I play with guys and they’re dropping clubs or throwing them or complaining, like telling me how bad the golf course is or how bad this is. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s just something we’ve all got to deal with. If you play good enough, you shouldn’t have a problem.”
In response to what golf news he watches: “Yeah, at night when we’re done we’ll flip on the Golf Channel for a little bit and see what they’re talking about at the end of the day, what Frank and David and Rich are talking about. So we’ll see. Yeah. We just see what they’re up to. We’ll watch it for a little bit. And most of the time — I mean, this week, probably not, with the NBA Finals and the hockey and everything going on. I’d rather watch that than turn on the Golf Channel.”
Notice which name is missing in that group?
Koepka even took a dig, if somewhat unintended, at Willie Anderson, the only player to win the U.S. Open three straight times. Koepka noted that he doesn’t know much about Anderson and didn’t bother to look him up on Google.
So much for that chip shrinking off Koepka’s massive shoulders.
“You’ve always got to find something to give you a little bit of extra motivation,” Koepka said. “Sometimes it’s blatantly obvious.”
Koepka will continue his hot streak—golf, that is—on Thursday, teeing off with Open champ Francesco Molinari and reigning U.S. Amateur Viktor Hovland at 1:47 p.m.