Sport Golf

Friday 15 November 2019

'He hasn't won a major since I've been on the PGA Tour' - Brooks Koepka has big dig at Rory McIlroy

Brooks Koepka of the United States congratulates Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 18th green after McIlroy won the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship during the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 25, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Brooks Koepka of the United States congratulates Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the 18th green after McIlroy won the FedEx Cup and Tour Championship during the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on August 25, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Brooks Koepka dismissed the notion that he has a rivalry with Rory McIlroy, pointing to the fact that the Northern Irishman hasn't won a major championship since the American arrived on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy has won the US Open, the Open Championship and two PGA Championships, but hasn't won one of the game's four marquee events since 2014 - when Koepka hadn't yet taken up a PGA Tour card.

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Since then, the big-hitting 29-year-old has emerged as the game's dominant force, winning back-to-back US Open titles and PGA Championships, although McIlroy still claimed PGA Tour Player of the Year for 2019 after claiming the FedEx Cup for the second time.

Speaking ahead of the CJ Cup in South Korea, where Koepka is the reigning champion, the American downplayed talk of a rivalry with McIlroy while taking a swipe at his recent major struggles.

"I've been out here for, what, five years, and Rory hasn't won a major since I've been on the PGA Tour," Koepka said.

"So I just don't view it as a rivalry.

"I'm not looking at anybody behind me.

"I'm number one 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.

"You know if the fans do (call it a rivalry), then that's on them and it could be fun.

"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."

McIlroy, who has now gone five years without winning a major, previously talked about competing against Koepka after beating him to win the season finale at the Tour Championship.

"He (Koepka) talked about trying to be the dominant player in the game ... and I thought: 'He's going to have to go through me first'," McIlroy said.

"If that's both of our mentalities going forward, I think that's good for the game."

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