PGA: Brooks Koepka sorry for sounding disrespectful after third round
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 13/08/20 11:50pm
Brooks Koepka has apologised for his controversial comments ahead of the final round of the PGA Championship, and he also accused the media of "overplaying" his friendship with Dustin Johnson
Koepka caused a stir in his post-round interview on Saturday evening at TPC Harding Park as he causally reminded 54-hole leader Johnson that he had converted only one chance to win a major having been in contention several times.
"When I've been in this position before, I've capitalised. DJ, he's only won one. I'm playing good. I don't know, we'll see," said Koepka, who was two strokes behind Johnson heading into the final day.
The four-time major winner also regretted disrespecting the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ when he said: "A lot of the guys on the leaderboard, I don't think have won, I guess DJ has only won one. I don't know a lot of the other guys up there."
His comments were criticised by Rory McIlroy, and Koepka went on to struggle in the final round as a closing 74 saw him finish 10 strokes behind champion Collin Morikawa, and the former world No 1 had another tough day at the Wyndham Championship as he opened with a two-over 72.
But before heading out for his first round at Sedgefield Country Club, Koepka gave an exclusive interview with Golfweek and admitted he felt remorse over his comments at the PGA, particularly the "other guys" remark.
"I honestly was struggling coming down the end of the third round," Koepka explained. "I was well back and I saw DJ was at nine under. I birdied to get to seven under and I was focused on Dustin. I had no idea who was at eight or with me at seven.
"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 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. 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."
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Koepka insisted he was "not planning" on contacting Johnson to discuss the issue, and he claimed the media make too much of his relationship with his Ryder Cup team-mate while also hinting that Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are maybe not as close as is believed.
"You guys make your own stories,," said Koepka, who admitted to feeling "flat" in his sixth consecutive start on the PGA Tour. "I have no idea what you all do, but I think even the Jordan and Justin thing gets blown out too much. I think you guys overplay a lot of things."