After Jon Rahm ‘child’ dig, Brooks Koepka handed historic Ryder Cup beatdown
ROME — Brooks Koepka had no problem offering some fighting words on Friday evening at the Ryder Cup.
“I mean, I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did,” he said after halving his match with Rahm and Nicolai Hojgaard, taking a surprising shot at his afternoon fourball partner. “But, you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”
On Saturday morning, though, he had some trouble backing them up.
The morning after Koepka’s uncharacteristic shot across the bow, he and Scottie Scheffler suffered the worst 18-hole loss in Ryder Cup foursomes history, a 9 and 7 thrashing that may go down as the damning blow to this year’s U.S. chances.
Koepka and Scheffler, the presumptive American all-star pairing, shot a preposterous (and generous) alternate-shot score of seven over par in just 11 holes together on Saturday morning, gift-wrapping another point to the European pairing of Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg. After a heart-pumping display of shotmaking in their fourball match against Rahm on Friday evening, the two golfers looked entirely out of their depth in alternate shot, hitting it all over the yard in a match that was never really close — and that ended on the 11th hole.
Koepka’s performance will earn some extra scrutiny given his words about Rahm, who was well on his way to winning his second match of the week when Koepka and Scheffler were finally defeated. As the old saying goes: it’s okay to talk trash … just so long as you can back it up.
In truth, though, Koepka’s words rang as surprising even when he said them. While Brooks has had no problem criticizing his pro golfer counterparts at times throughout his career, it was striking to see him launch such a direct attack while his American side trailed 6.5-1.5 after one day of play. Perhaps he was trying to inspire his fellow teammates, but it seems his performance had the unintended effect of doing the opposite.
The U.S. now trails by one more heading into Saturday afternoon at the Ryder Cup, and pending the result of the remainder of Saturday morning’s foursomes, the Europeans could have the chance to clinch the Cup on Saturday.
Yes, it’s getting late early on Ryder Cup Saturday. For Koepka, that might not be the worst thing.