Tuesday, two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka took time to speak with the media. Of course, questions about his golf game, as well as how he is knee is feeling were asked, but as expected, the dominant theme of the press conference was his rivalry with Bryson DeChambeau and the give and take they’ve been dealing out on social media.
Koepke never shies away from a question, and he didn’t here. Check out what he had to say Tuesday.
ACES editor Dennis Miller sat in on the press conference and edited down the transcript.
THE MODERATOR: Welcome back, everyone. We are joined in the interview area by two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka. Talk about your preparation so far this week.
BROOKS KOEPKA: It’s been good. Obviously, it was nice getting to play this course earlier in the year, just kind of have a refresher on it. I like the place. It’s obviously very difficult. The fairways are a lot firmer than what you’re used to seeing in February or January, whenever we come.
The rough’s thick, so if you don’t hit the fairways, you’re going to be in trouble. It will be interesting to see. The greens are a little bit firmer. You’ve got to be a good ball striker and good putter around here. It will be a good test.
Question: One, how do you feel? How’s the knee holding up?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It feels good. Every day is just getting better and better. I feel very comfortable on it. I can do everything I want to do, and I’m ready to play.
Question: Two, when you look at this course, is it materially different than what you guys faced, other than it may be firm and fast, compared to February?
BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, the firmness, I think that’s the big thing. I actually think the greens are going to be a lot better than what they would be in January and February just because they are firmer. With poa, you see a lot of spike marks at the end of the day, and being firmer, I don’t think you’re going to see as much. The greens seem a lot better, to be honest with you. That will be the big difference. And then the rough, obviously, that’s kind of self-explanatory.
Question: Brooks, were you or anyone in your camp approached by the USGA about the possibility of playing with Bryson and Gary Woodland?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I was not asked about playing with Gary Woodland nor Bryson.
Question: If asked, would you have enjoyed it?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It doesn’t matter to me. I’m trying to play — I play my own game. I don’t care who I’m paired with. It doesn’t matter to me what goes on. It makes no difference to me. I’m out there trying to play my own game. What happens inside the ropes, it won’t bother me.
Question: Where does Tiger winning a major here in 2008 on one leg rank among other major victories?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, it was pretty impressive, but I would say the one at the Masters probably was number one, just for me. I mean, I was playing in it. I guess that probably made a difference. But I remember being in school so I couldn’t watch the playoff on Monday. It was exciting to watch. That’s got to be up there for him. One of the top ones.
Question: I’m just curious, when the Kiawah Golf Channel clip came out public, were you annoyed that that took place? Was it amusing to you at all? And how would you characterize kind of the fallout, the perception of you and Bryson?
BROOKS KOEPKA: It doesn’t matter to me. I’m not too concerned. It is what it is. Like I said last week, I don’t think — I don’t live with regret. It got out, not a big deal. And as far as perception, I’m not really too concerned — I’m worried about what I’ve got to do and what I’m doing. I’m not concerned about what other people think. If I was concerned about what everybody else thought, I’d have been in a world of pain.
Question: Maybe this is a sliver of the same question. I apologize if it is, but is this good for golf in some way that there’s a conversation that’s different from what normally is talked about in golf with you and Bryson?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I think it’s good for the game. It’s bringing new eyeballs. Like I said last week, you’ve got different — it’s pretty much been on every news channel. Pretty much everything you look at online, it’s got this in the headline, or it’s up there as a big news story. To me, that’s growing the game. You’re putting it in front of eyeballs, you’re putting it in front of people, the game of golf, who probably don’t normally look at golf, don’t play it, might get them involved. I don’t know how it’s not growing the game.
Question: Talk a little bit about your ability to throttle it up for a major championship.
BROOKS KOEPKA: Just more focus, that’s all it is. I said it last week. Sometimes I just get lackadaisical out there. It’s tough to kind of really focus for me. It’s something I’ve got to work on in regular events, being a little more in tune and not just always looking at the majors and being on mentally for five, six, seven hours out here. It’s definitely different.
I enjoy it. I enjoy when it’s hard and when it matters the most. That’s something I thrive off of, and that’s what I do so well.
Question: Brooks, has anyone from the TOUR contacted you about kind of toeing that line as far as your public comments with Bryson or that video or anything like that?
BROOKS KOEPKA: I talk to them all the time. I talk to somebody from the TOUR pretty much every week. I saw somebody put something out where there was a photo of me and Jay. I saw Jay pretty much every time I tee it up. Him, Ross Berlin, Andy Pazder, they come out every week and check on us and see what’s going on. We have constant communication, but there’s nothing really about that.