It’s the video that broke the internet; Brooks Koepka rolling his eyes so far back in his head you’d swear he was the three-eyed raven having a vision. Then the camera rolls as Koepka refocuses to express his struggles on the greens at Kiawah Island:
“I don’t think many guys are going to putt well with this wind, it’s very tough. I don’t know what other guys have said, I just felt it was difficult to read, you know, sometimes…” and then his eyes bleed, pain in them before they shut as the heavy grating of metal spikes ring over Koepka’s comments, interrupted, venom on his face as Bryson DeChambeau comes into view; the whole lot of him trampling on whatever professionalism Koepka could cling to.
The disdain he has for Bryson is the best thing going in golf these days. ? pic.twitter.com/1bwMkUx0iy
— Ryan (@RJWinfield) May 25, 2021
“Sometimes, ummmm, I f***ing lost my train of thought… hearing that bullshit. F***ing Christ.”
So what did Koepka hear? Those on site say DeChambeau muttered under his breath that Koepka could try starting his putts on-line to improve his luck on the greens. Whatever Bryson said though, the main thing is that Brooks didn’t like it. But I did, and most of the golf world did, too.
Why? Because this was such unadulterated hate that even the best actors in the world would struggle to imitate it. It’s the most genuine golf interview I’ve ever witnessed, a peek behind the curtain at the naked truth so rarely seen under the layers of manufactured bulls*** caked onto the game’s elite. This was real, so real I didn’t believe it. So real that we’ll be left chasing dragons to hear its likes again.
But the real beauty of it is that it’s out there. No take-backsies. It’s ours whether the Tour wants it to be or not. And they should want it to be. Sure, it’s crass, if you’re that way inclined, but it’s also box-office, so far removed from the beige banality of a golfer’s brand that you’d almost start believing they’re human again off the back of it.
It can’t be argued that rivalry doesn’t improve sport. Of course it’s nice that Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are all great buddies… for them… but for the casual golf fan, you want the best in the world to be at each other’s throats. You want vintage rivalry. Mickelson versus Woods. Good versus evil. God versus all the other gods.
So I’d urge the game’s suits to embrace it. At the US Open in a few weeks’ time, give the fans what they want. Match Bryson with Brooks for the first two days and let’s hope the closer they are together, the further they’ll drift. That the door to one of golf’s great rivalries will be opened for the next decade and beyond and that the sport can reap the benefits.
Paul McGinley says the leaking of the video is a sad indictment of today’s world and society. I say hiding moments like this away is everything that’s wrong with the world. There’s enough corporate influence diluting the sport as it is without brushing this one under the carpet. Thankfully for us, this thing’s too big to hide now. Like a deer in a snake’s belly, we can all see what’s happened here. Now let us see more of it.