Brooks Koepka hits out at playing partner J.B Holmes for tortuously slow play
The four-time Major winner was not a happy puppy at Royal Portrush.
It is no secret that Brooks Koepka likes to grip it and rip it. The 29-year-old, who has bossed it over the golf world for much of the past two years, likes to play hard and fast.
He ended his third round at The Open on -9 and seven shots adrift of overnight leader Shane Lowry. As he demonstrated with a birdie blitz at the US Open, last month, Koepka is more than capable of starting like a comet.
The last thing he needed was to be paired with one of golf's most dithering pros. Organisers opted to pair Justin Rose [-9] with Rickie Fowler [-8] while Koepka got J.B Holmes [-10].
Holmes is notorious for pushing the playing clock to the limit and while he has never suffered a stroke penalty, his ponderous play has not won him friends among some of golf's elite. As Aaron Oberholser of Golf Channel remarked:
'Brooks’ only kryptonite, slow play. And he’s playing with the Lex Luthor of slow play.'
While the likes of Lowry, Fowler and Tommy Fleetwood all erred on the opening hole, Koepka followed his bogey on the first with more dropped shots on two and three. His challenge was all but over, even though he did eagle the fifth.
As for Holmes, he endured a nightmare round. He was the only golfer at Royal Portrush to not record a round in the 70s. The American started with rounds of 66, 68 and 69 before carding a +16 round of 87 on Sunday.
Koepka's patience seemed to expire on the 10th green as Holmes, lining up a par putt to stay at +5 for his round, re-started his whole putting stroke routine.
— George Savaricas (@GeorgeSavaricas) July 21, 2019
Two holes later, after Holmes had triple-bogeyed the 11th, and was lining up a double bogey putt on the 12th, Koepka made his frustrations abundantly clear.
Walking off 12 green, Koepka stares at an official and points to his non-existent watch.
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) July 21, 2019
Following his closing round of 74, which saw him end up in a tie for 4th, Koepka spoke openly with reporters about Holmes' slow play.
"It was slow, but it wasn't that bad for his usual pace. I thought it was relatively quick for what he usually does...
"That's what I don't understand," he added, "when it's your turn to hit, your glove is not on, then you start thinking about it, that's where the problem lies. It's not that he takes that long. He doesn't do anything until his turn. That's the frustrating part. But he's not the only one that does it out here."
As for Holmes, he packed away his clubs and kept schtum about a round he would much prefer to forget.