Brooks Koepka made some comments ahead of the CJ Cup about his rivalry with Rory McIlroy that the media has drummed up after McIlroy claimed Player of the Year.
In those comments, Koepka basically said what everyone can see with their own eyes, that he has won four majors in the last three years and McIlroy has won none since winning two in 2014.
“I’ve been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour,” Koepka told AFP ahead of last week’s CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges.”So I just don’t view it as a rivalry.”
While McIlroy has finished in the top five four times in his last 19 major appearances, Brooks has finished outside the top 10 only twice since the 2017 U.S. Open.
"What Brooks said wasn't wrong."
Rory addresses Brooks Koepka's recent comments about rivalries. pic.twitter.com/B55h0pavLq
— GOLFTV (@GOLFTV) October 21, 2019
“I think it’s hard,” McIlroy said. “We all get asked about it in press conferences, about other players where it’s ‘Why are these guys asking me about someone else? Aren’t we supposed to be here to talk about me?’ And what Brooks said wasn’t wrong. He’s been the best player for a couple years, four majors. I don’t think he had to remind me I hadn’t won one in a while, but you know.”
McIlroy also eluded to the fact that he may have kind of drummed up a little bit of the “rivalry” with his comments after the TOUR Championship.
“I said a couple of things after the Tour Championship in terms of I approached that final round like a little bit of a rivalry because he got one over on me at Memphis and I sort of wanted to get him back,” said McIlroy, who went on to beat Koepka at East Lake in August to claim the FedEx Cup title. “I think that’s good for the game.”
The 30-year-old McIlroy obviously has plenty left in the tank, and he knows that certain media members do like to take things out of context and exaggerate them into this huge deal.
“I think if you take what Brooks said out of context, then obviously it can be this big thing that it had become,” McIlroy said. “But Brooks and I are good. We’re good friends. I’ve been really happy for him to see how good he’s played the last couple of years. And I’m sure he’ll continue to do so just like we’re all trying to play as good as we can.”
Both of these guys are good. McIlroy dominated regular season events and Brooks has been on another level during majors.
I think we can all agree on one thing, there won’t be another guy who comes along and dominates everything. There won’t be another Tiger for a while.
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.