Brooks Koepka expresses regret over his PGA Championship leaderboard comments
Brooks Koepka expressed some regret over the comments he made on Saturday about those ahead of him on the leaderboard after the third round of the PGA Championship at Harding Park in California.
Koepka was 7-under par through the first three rounds of the major and trailed leader Dustin Johnson by two strokes entering the final round of play. Koepka said he thought his experience would give him an advantage over the golfers ahead of him, pointing out that only one golfer had a major (DJ with one), compared to Koepka’s four.
Though Koepka was speaking in a matter-of-fact manner, his comments were taken another way, and many thought he was putting down those ahead of him. Even Rory McIlroy took a shot at him the following day, defending Johnson in the process.
Koepka explained his mentality in comments to Golfweek published on Wednesday. He said his focus was on Johnson and not the other players because he cares about what is ahead of him.
“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. So I regret that part of it. That’s what I was trying to say — that I didn’t know who was on the leaderboard at that point because I hadn’t looked. I just genuinely didn’t know the guys at 8 and 7. 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. When someone asks if I can win, I’m always going to say yes, that’s the competitor in me. I’m not there to finish second. I think that’s where some of the cocky stuff comes from because I always think I can win and truly believe it,” Koepka told Golfweek.
Koepka maintains that he was being truthful and not trying to take a shot, but he feels badly about the other golfers, like Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ, who got looped in. He also says he does not plan to reach out to any of the players involved in the matter, and he thinks McIlroy was being truthful too.
Koepka offered many more interesting comments about his mindset and mentality in the interview that is well worth your time. The 30-year-old continues to view himself as having a completely different mentality from others regarding the traditions of the game.
H/T The Spun