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Jon Rahm has responded to Brooks Koepka criticising his behaviour on Friday at the Ryder Cup, insisting: “I play and compete the way I think I need to.”

PGA champion Koepka aimed a bizarre broadside at Jon Rahm after the pair’s dramatic halved match during the Friday afternoon fourballs at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Rahm eagled two of his three holes to salvage an unlikely half-point for he and Nicolai Hojgaard over Koepka and world No.1 Scottie Scheffler as Europe eased to a record-equalling five-shot lead at the end of the opening day.

Asked how he felt after seeing a full point slip through their grasp on the last, Koepka replied: “So, yeah. I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did. But, you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”

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Both captains, Luke Donald and Zach Johnson, admitted they were non-plussed by the American’s comments and, following another foursomes win for he and Tyrrell Hatton on Saturday morning, Rahm was asked by reporters for his version of events.

“I play and compete the way I think I need to play and compete,” said the Spaniard. “I’m not going to stand here and say I’m a perfect example on what to do on a golf course. But I play and compete.”

Rahm explained that Koepka’s comments came from an untelevised incident as the match headed to the 18th.

“I was not happy I left a ten-footer short on 17 to possibly tie the hole, and going up to the tee, I let off some frustration hitting the board sideways,” he said. “I kept walking, never stopped, that was it.

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“If Brooks thinks that’s childish, it is what it is. He’s entitled to think what he thinks.”

He added: “I’m very comfortable with who I am and what I do. I’ve done much worse on a golf course like that. That doesn’t even register to a low level of Jon anger on the golf course.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m very happy with who I am, and I needed to do that at that moment to let off some steam and play the hole I wanted to do. And clearly it worked out. I played two great shots and got a little lucky on the putt. I needed to do what I needed to do to perform under those circumstances.

“Is it right or wrong, childish or not, I don’t know, but that’s what I needed at the moment.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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