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.
Trailing 54-hole leader Dustin 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 major.”
Many took those remarks to be disrespectful, with Rory McIlroy admitting he was taken aback by Koepka’s verbal dig at Johnson. Moreover, Koepka slumped to a four over 74, the second worst score on Sunday, as he surrendered his grip on the Wanamaker trophy.
Speaking to Golfweek, he revealed that he would have done some things differently, such as focusing on his own game and not Johnson’s.
“I was focused on Dustin. 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.
"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.”
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 Johnson.
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”.
“Yeah, it’s definitely the ‘other guys’ part because that’s a shot at all the other players,” Koepka said.
“We pretty much know everybody, we grew up playing golf with them and it came across that I had no idea who these guys are. And that’s completely false.
“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.”