Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka has revealed that he regrets part of what he said ahead of the final round of last week’s US PGA Championship – just not the part relating to Dustin Johnson and his one major win.
Trailing 54-hole leader Johnson by two shots, Koepka said that he fancied his chances of catching him. “When I've been in this position before, I've capitalised,” said the 31-year-old. “He’s only won one.”
Many took those remarks to be unnecessarily disrespectful, not least Rory McIlroy, who offered a withering assessment of his own in defence of DJ. Moreover, Koepka was left looking foolish after slumping to a four-over 74 – the second worst score of the day – on Sunday as he surrendered his grip on the Wanamaker trophy.
Speaking to Golfweek, he revealed that he would have done some things differently on Saturday night.
“I was focused on Dustin,” he said. “I had no idea who was at eight [under] or with me at seven [under]. 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. I just genuinely didn’t know the guys at eight and seven.
"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.”
NEW! IS BROOKS KOEPKA
GETTING TOO BIG FOR HIS BOOTS?
Pressed to explain which part he specifically regretted, Koepka added that it was the “other guys” portion of his comment and not his “one major” dig at DJ.
He also said that reaching out to Johnson is “not something I’m planning on doing” and that the PGA Tour is “definitely not my perfect place”.
“I’m not the typical golf guy,” he added. “ We didn’t belong to fancy country clubs. I’m not someone who can’t wait to go play those exclusive courses around the country. It doesn’t ‘ooh’ and awe me like it does other people.
“I’ve been portrayed as the villain, right? I’m different, super competitive, fiery. My idea of talking trash is a whole lot different than other people’s. I get the whole villain thing and I can definitely play into it. But if you’re going to do that then you’ve got to back it up and last week I didn’t back it up. I’m okay with the repercussions of that. I’ve got thick skin. I can handle it.”
• FOR MORE FROM KOEPKA – INCLUDING WHAT HE MADE OF RORY’S REMARKS ABOUT HIM – READ THE FULL GOLFWEEK INTERVIEW HERE.