Koalas, Sharks, Tassie & The Crows – What did DJ, Bryson & Brooks get themselves into?

Bernie McGuire

Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau (Photo by Sarah Reed/Getty Images)

It was a golfing press conference like no other with talk of snuggling koala bears, diving with sharks, Tassie and The Crows.

Two of the three American LIV golfers sitting up in front of the assembled media at The Grange Golf Club had been to Australia before, namely Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau. The closest Brooks Koepka got to the land ‘Down Under’ was on a vacation to Bali, where a great number of Aussies travel for holidays, before having to pull out of the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne through injury.

However, when the very informal press conference brought up subjects such as snuggling koala bears, diving with sharks and talking about crows, you could be forgiven if three of the best golfers in the world, who between them have won seven majors, were in Adelaide for some sort of wildlife convention than Friday’s historic first Adelaide LIV tournament.


Of course, the world knows how cute and cuddly the koala bears are while we know also how the screening of the inaugural Jaws thriller in 1985 changed, once and forever, our perception of sharks, but Tassie and The Crows?

‘Tassie’ is the affectionate nickname for the Australian state of Tasmania that lies on its lonesome at the bottom left-hand corner of the main Australian continent. Nothing irks Tasmanians more than to be left off a map of Australia. In saying this, take a look at the LIV logo this week and this is exactly what I am describing – the island of Tasmania is missing.

Crows, or to give the Aussie Rules football side their full title – The Adelaide Crows – were formed in 1991 and won the Australian Football League (AFL) premiership in 1997 and 1998.

So, into The Grange Golf Club media centre arrives Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.

No sooner had they got comfortable behind the microphones and the very first question from the media went as follows, and all of a sudden it became subject matter we’ve not heard before in a pre-tournament press conference.

Q. South Australia has some incredible things to do here. You can go shark diving, you can snuggle a koala, you can go wine tasting, you can go to AFL games. Have you had an opportunity to explore South Australia and do any of these activities, and if not, what’s on your wish list?

BROOKS KOEPKA: I mean, I think we’re supposed to go shark diving, but I bailed on that on Tuesday when I realized that it was all day yesterday.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: I was supposed to go, as well. It was a long expedition. It would have been fun, though.

BROOKS KOEPKA: But would love to do that. We went to one of the AFL games on Sunday night. I know me and Dustin did, so that was quite fun, just getting to see it live. Anytime you watch guys do what they’re amazing at, and it’s a cool sport, it’s fun. It’s a real sport. Those guys beat each other like crazy.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: Aren’t the Crows playing? On Saturday or something? Anybody know?

BROOKS KOEPKA: That was pretty fun to watch. But that’s all I’ve done thus far.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, same. Obviously we don’t get — it would be nice to be able to explore, but most of our time we’re spending here at the golf course, a new place. Got to learn the course and get ready for the week. But yeah, I went to the game on Sunday night. That was a good time. Yeah, I’d like to do all the other things, just don’t know if I’m going to have time to do it.

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU: We’re here to golf, obviously, but it would be fun Saturday night or something to go see the Crows. Something different.

Well, there you have it – Koala snuggling, diving with sharks and The Crows. That only leaves Tassie.  I can’t leave out Tassie or I’ll never be allowed to set foot in the former Van Diemen’s Land ever again.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I have no idea. As low as I can shoot.

Q. For Brooks and DJ, Bryson, you touched on the footy. The Crows are actually in Tassie, so the Power is playing, their crosstown rivals, so you might piss off a few people with that. For you guys who went to see the games, just your thoughts on the physicality and the speed, and have you seen AFL games before?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No, never seen one. I think I’ve watched a little bit on TV, occasionally just being I think in Bali a few times. They had a few games on the TVs when we were at the bars.

But yeah, it’s a man’s sport, man. I mean, the hitting going on is pretty impressive. Sometimes you just wonder how the hell they walk away from it and they just get up and shake it off and keep moving.

It’s impressive. They’re tough.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I enjoy the game. I’ve seen it a couple times on TV, but watching it on TV, especially when you don’t know a sport or don’t know a whole lot about it, seeing it live was a lot better, just to see what’s all going on and understanding the game a little bit more.

I sat down with the Premier for a few minutes and he explained to me kind of the game, and so I understand it a lot better.

Yeah, it was fun, and like he said, it is a man’s sport. I’d like to —

BROOKS KOEPKA: Nobody up here is going to be playing it. I’m made of glass, so I’ve got no shot.”

Like I hinted, Australians have always spoken English since Captain James Cook discovered Australia in 1770 but for the trio of American superstar golfers, this week is already a whole different language.

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