In an interview with Daniel Hicks of the American Foreign Press, Brooks Koepka did not quite accept the idea of Rory McIlroy being his rival. Brooks, the current World Number 1 golfer, gave a very “Brooks” answer when he explained his reason:
“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. I’m not looking at anybody behind me. I’m No. 1 in the world. I’ve got open road in front of me. I’m not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don’t see it as a rivalry.”
All things considered, that is not exactly true. In 2014, Rory won both The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and The PGA Championship at Valhalla. 2014 was also Koepka’s rookie year where he started playing PGA Tour events on sponsor exemptions.
Koepka did go on to give McIlroy some credit:
“Look, I love Rory. He’s a great player and he’s fun to watch, but it’s just hard to believe there’s a rivalry in golf, I just don’t see it.”
It’s no question Brooks earned his top spot in the World Golf Rankings, winning 5 major titles since 2017, and placing top 5 in every major this year. Rory, on the other hand, has not had the same sky-rocketing success Brooks has had in the last couple of years. Some critics even questioned if Rors still had it in him to close out major tournaments when he was trending to win. Last season McIlroy, 30, overcame the strapping, hard hitting Brooks, and the rest of the Tour by claiming his second Tour Championship and the $15,000,000 prize moving him to World Number 2.
Brooks has made it abundantly clear in the past about how he feels about practicing, media criticism, pace of play, and Major Championships. He’s clearly not changing his tune or holding back when answering questions. And he’s not about to start any time soon.
h/t: Yahoo News