He was probably not the only one.
On several occasions, Koepka appeared to take a chance on Dustin Johnson, claiming – and rightly so – that Johnson had ‘won only one’ major and that Koepka ‘likes his chances’ given the relative inexperience of the standings.
“I certainly wouldn’t say it,” McIlroy said Sunday after finishing his round. “It’s different, isn’t it? It’s a very different mindset to bring to golf that I don’t think a lot of golfers have.
A few years ago, Koepka and Johnson were frequent practice partners and appeared to be close friends, but Koepka hinted in a recent interview that their relationship was being overdone because they were training at the same gym in South Korea. Florida.
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McIlroy thought Koepka may have tried playing “mind games” with his opponents, knowing he still had to erase a two-stroke deficit on the final day.
“If he’s trying to play mind games he’s trying to do it on the wrong person,” McIlroy said. “I don’t think DJ really cares about this.”
McIlroy has been the target of Koepka’s brutally honest comments in the past. Last year, Koepka said there was no budding rivalry with McIlroy and pointed out – again, with precision – that McIlroy hadn’t won a major since 2014, before Koepka competed in the PGA Tour.
“I definitely try to respect everyone here,” McIlroy said. “Everyone is a great player. If you’ve won a major league, you’re a hell of a player. It doesn’t mean you only won once; you won one and you had to do a lot of good things to achieve it. It’s a little tough hitting a guy who’s had 21 PGA Tour wins, which is three times what Brooks has.