Quit Disrespecting Koepka

He gets overlooked, he has a chip on his shoulder, he wins.

Jim Rome
June 12, 2019 - 1:59 pm
Brooks Koepka

USA Today

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We’re less than 24 hours away from the start of the US Open. At 6:45am tomorrow, the first groups will go off, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait for the first shots of the tournament to be fired. Far from it.

Because Brooks Koepka met with the media yesterday and some of his answers were verbal 400 drives off the tee.

For example, there’s the fact that Koepka is looking to become the first player since Willie Anderson to win back-to-back-to-back US Opens. So what does he know about Willie Anderson? About the same amount as you or I do: "It's funny, we were in Scotland, I think it was last year, and we saw his name on a building I guess where he used to live or something like that, which is pretty cool. But I don't know too much about him. Obviously that was a long, long time ago. What was it, a hundred years? Hundred-and-some years?''

Take that, Willie Anderson. Have some, old man! You just got dunked on. “What was that, a hundred years? Hundred-and-some years?”

And he’s right. That’s not to slight the history of golf, but why would spend any time thinking about running down Willie Anderson? No disrespect to a guy who apparently was very good at golf, but Willie last won a US Open in 1905. I’m going to go ahead and say the game was a little different then. Did he putt out on 18 and then ride a horse to the train station? Or did they already have horseless carriages by then?

Also, you never want to compare eras, but when Willie Anderson won his first US Open, he shot four straight rounds in the 80s. There’s no way Koepka is doing that, no matter how tall the rough is.

And speaking of the rough, if you want to complain about the course, you can keep right on walking past Koepka, because he’s not interested in hearing about it: “Everybody’s 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?”

If I were to read between the lines there, he’s saying that if you’re complaining about the rough, you’re not good enough.

Actually, I don’t have to read between the lines, because this is what he said right after that: “So obviously they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. They’re not playing good enough.”

Boom! Roasted! You’ve got your complaints about the course, Koepka’s got a complaint about your game and your attitude: “I’ve just never been one to complain, make excuses. 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, 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.”

I’ll be honest. I love that. I love that he’s just rolling into a Tuesday media availability and laying it down like that. He’s not throwing down a bunch of golf jargon that middle-age dads will then start repeating just to sound cool. He’s just laying it out there like it is – the course is hard? Play better.

Don’t get bitter, get better.

And then there is one other topic: the promos for the US Open and the fact that he was left out of one of them. Again, Brooks Koepka, the number one player in the world, the two-time defending US Open champion, was somehow left out of one of the US Open promos. He’s aware of that, because he’s aware of all of that:

"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."

Amazing. Somebody in the edit bay is trolling him right now, right? You do know that Brooks Koepka is a fuel guy. He’s not just A fuel guy, he’s practically THE fuel guy. Eventually all of this stuff gets back to him and it gets turned into super premium unleaded gasoline.

There’s a pattern here: He gets overlooked, he has a chip on his shoulder, he wins, he gets overlooked, he has a chip on his shoulder, he wins. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And yes, I know that he’s included in three of the four promos that were released, but how is the number one golfer in the world and the two-time defending champ not included in every single promo? Is winning the last two US Opens and the last two PGA Championships and being the number one golfer in the world not enough to get in a promo?

That has to be someone who’s just looking to put gas in his tank, right? There’s no way that’s an accident at this point. And yet, it almost doesn’t seem like an accident. Because for all the talk about Tiger returning to Pebble Beach and Phil trying, again, to complete the career grand slam, it does feel like somehow Brooks is going under the radar. And that is amazing on so many levels.