Eamon Lynch: Brooks Koepka's verbal jousting didn't ignite his own game, but it's good for golf

It might require a Brinks truck to deliver all the humble pie that Brooks Koepka will be told to eat in the coming days, but thems the (...)

Eamon Lynch: Brooks Koepka's verbal jousting didn't ignite his own game, but it's good for golf

It might require a Brinks truck to deliver all the humble pie that Brooks Koepka will be told to eat in the coming days, but thems the risks when you’re one of the few guys in golf willing to open your mouth and hazard being served life’s least appetizing dessert.

The four-time major winner violated one of the game’s cardinal conventions at the PGA Championship: that the first shot among leaders entering the final round takes place on the first tee Sunday afternoon, not Saturday night in front of a microphone. After the third round at TPC Harding Park, the two-time defending champion stood a couple strokes adrift of his one-time friend, Dustin Johnson.

“I like my chances,” Koepka said. “When I’ve been in this position before, I’ve capitalized. I don’t know, [Johnson’s] only won one.”

As prodding goes, it had all the subtlety and affection of the dental scene in Marathon Man.

Eamon Lynch

Koepka has long been an enthusiastic practitioner of the dark art of psych ops, and generous in his targeting. While Tiger Woods treated opponents with an icy aloofness, barely acknowledging their existence at times, Koepka pokes around in search of a frailty, preferably one that manifests itself in an agitated mind under pressure on a Sunday afternoon. His instruments of choice are press conferences and social media posts, but these are not throwaway comments or tweets. Nothing that exits Koepka’s mouth — not one syllable — isn’t premeditated.

Mind games are as much a weapon in Koepka’s arsenal as his driver, and that isn’t necessarily as popular among his peers as it is among golf fans who crave a little conflict, and reporters thirsty for a good quote.

Rory McIlroy has been a past target of needling by Koepka, who he ousted as world No. 1 earlier this year. He was asked about Koepka’s comments on Johnson after the final round in San Francisco. “It’s a very different mentality to bring to golf that I don’t think a lot of golfers have,” he said with admirable understatement. “I certainly try to respect everyone out here. Everyone is a great player. If you’ve won a major championship, you’re a hell of a player. Doesn’t mean you’ve only won one; you’ve won one, and you’ve had to do a lot of good things to do that.”

McIlroy then threw out another number: “Sort of hard to knock a guy that’s got 21 wins on the PGA Tour, which is three times what Brooks has.”

Even Koepka might doff his cap to that surgical drone strike by McIlroy.

Evident in this brouhaha among the bros is the assumption that Koepka’s comments were designed solely to rattle Johnson rather than to rouse himself. Koepka knew his Dustin drive-by would increase enormously the pressure on him to deliver in the final round, but he was willing to assume the risk of embarrassment — and virtual execution by the ever-alert Twitter firing squad — to motivate himself to excel. It was a fraught strategy for a man already facing substantial expectations in his bid for a third straight win in this event, even if he hadn’t been aiming the barb at a former world No. 1 who won on Tour a few weeks back.

That he was game for the gamble should earn him kudos. But the fact that Koepka didn’t deliver on the golf course — a miserable front nine on the way to a 74 ensured that kid with the financial advisor mom in the AIG ad got more screen time than he did — won’t encourage others to imitate his aggressive gamesmanship. Which is a shame. Verbal pugilism is part of the foreplay of every prizefight, and golf would benefit from both tolerating and encouraging a little more sass among competitors.

Sure, mouthiness will grate on fans of golf’s decorous behavioral code, but it will also engage those inclined to lazily dismiss the game as an antiquated hobby ill-suited to the combative vibe of modern sport.

Golf is enjoying a window in which it dominates the sports landscape for lack of alternatives, but relying on other leagues being locked down and prime-time finishes on the East Coast are short-term strategies for success. Freeing up players to exhibit more personality and attitude — even if we don’t much care for either — is necessary too. This is not the time to dust off Emily Post’s Etiquette for a stern lecture to those who step outside the lines drawn by Old Tom Morris more than 150 years ago.

Koepka will swallow his humble pie, but don’t expect him to hold his tongue in the future. And nor should he. There were plenty of fans eager to see if he could back up his swagger on Sunday, and a few hoping to see him humbled. Golf needs both constituencies, and it needs polarizing players like Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau who are not only willing to fuel those fans but to accept the shellacking when they come up short.

And for all the hooting, hollering and pearl-clutching, Dustin Johnson still has one major and Brooks Koepka still has four. Neither man won on Sunday, but neither leaves town a loser either.

Source : Golf Week More   

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How much money each golfer won at the PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa cashed in a big payday in only his 29th start as a professional. The young professional continues to impress, claiming (...)

How much money each golfer won at the PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa cashed in a big payday in only his 29th start as a professional. The young professional continues to impress, claiming the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

It was a crowded leaderboard down the stretch on Sunday afternoon. Morikawa broke away with a final-round 6-under 64 and finished at 13 under for a two-shot win over Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson. Morikawa was just a winner last month at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, at the Workday Charity Open.

At 23 years, 6 months, 3 days, Morikawa earns a lifetime exemption into the PGA Championship. He also earns five-year exemptions to the Masters, the U.S. Open, the Open Championship and the PGA Tour.

Take a look at what else he earned, along with the rest of the field’s earnings.


PGA Championship: Leaderboard | Winner’s bag | Photos


Prize money

Position Player Score Earnings
1 Collin Morikawa -13 $1,980,000.00
T2 Paul Casey -11 $968,000.00
T2 Dustin Johnson -11 $968,000.00
T4 Matthew Wolff -10 $404,350.00
T4 Tony Finau -10 $404,350.00
T4 Jason Day -10 $404,350.00
T4 Bryson DeChambeau -10 $404,350.00
T4 Scottie Scheffler -10 $404,350.00
9 Justin Rose -9 $295,600.00
T10 Xander Schauffele -8 $252,123.00
T10 Joel Dahmen -8 $252,123.00
T10 Cameron Champ -8 $252,123.00
T13 Jon Rahm -7 $192,208.00
T13 Patrick Reed -7 $192,208.00
T13 Si Woo Kim -7 $192,208.00
T13 Daniel Berger -7 $192,208.00
T17 Brendon Todd -6 $156,500.00
T17 Haotong Li -6 $156,500.00
T19 Harris English -5 $134,000.00
T19 Kevin Kisner -5 $134,000.00
T19 Lanto Griffin -5 $134,000.00
T22 Byeong Hun An -4 $94,571.00
T22 Alex Noren -4 $94,571.00
T22 Brendan Steele -4 $94,571.00
T22 Victor Perez -4 $94,571.00
T22 Adam Scott -4 $94,571.00
T22 Ian Poulter -4 $94,571.00
T22 Hideki Matsuyama -4 $94,571.00
T29 Doc Redman -3 $69,500.00
T29 Harold Varner III -3 $69,500.00
T29 Tommy Fleetwood -3 $69,500.00
T29 Brooks Koepka -3 $69,500.00
T33 Viktor Hovland -2 $57,500.00
T33 Louis Oosthuizen -2 $57,500.00
T33 Rory McIlroy -2 $57,500.00
T33 Dylan Frittelli -2 $57,500.00
T37 Tiger Woods -1 $45,000.00
T37 Russell Henley -1 $45,000.00
T37 Bud Cauley -1 $45,000.00
T37 Nate Lashley -1 $45,000.00
T37 Justin Thomas -1 $45,000.00
T37 Webb Simpson -1 $45,000.00
T43 Ryan Palmer E $31,594.00
T43 Billy Horschel E $31,594.00
T43 Abraham Ancer E $31,594.00
T43 Cameron Smith E $31,594.00
T43 Keith Mitchell E $31,594.00
T43 Patrick Cantlay E $31,594.00
T43 Mike Lorenzo-Vera E $31,594.00
T43 Bernd Wiesberger E $31,594.00
T51 Erik van Rooyen +1 $24,000.00
T51 Adam Long +1 $24,000.00
T51 Joost Luiten +1 $24,000.00
T51 Luke List +1 $24,000.00
T51 Mark Hubbard +1 $24,000.00
T51 Kurt Kitayama +1 $24,000.00
T51 Brandt Snedeker +1 $24,000.00
T58 Kevin Streelman +2 $21,338.00
T58 Tom Hoge +2 $21,338.00
T58 Gary Woodland +2 $21,338.00
T58 Brian Harman +2 $21,338.00
T58 Mackenzie Hughes +2 $21,338.00
T58 Denny McCarthy +2 $21,338.00
T58 Adam Hadwin +2 $21,338.00
T58 Charl Schwartzel +2 $21,338.00
T66 Robert MacIntyre +3 $20,000.00
T66 Rory Sabbatini +3 $20,000.00
T66 Sepp Straka +3 $20,000.00
T66 Emiliano Grillo +3 $20,000.00
T66 Shane Lowry +3 $20,000.00
T71 Jordan Spieth +4 $19,350.00
T71 Danny Lee +4 $19,350.00
T71 Bubba Watson +4 $19,350.00
T71 Phil Mickelson +4 $19,350.00
T75 Chez Reavie +6 $19,050.00
T75 J.T. Poston +6 $19,050.00
T77 Matt Wallace +7 $18,850.00
T77 Jim Herman +7 $18,850.00
79 Sung Kang +10 $18,700.00
Source : Golf Week More   

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