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30th Sep 2023

Jon Rahm fires back at Brooks Koepka, gives his take on “board” incident

Patrick McCarry

Jon Rahm

“It’s hard not to see it nowadays.”

Brooks Koepka accused Jon Rahm of being “a child” after a drawn fourballs match, on Friday, then went out and got spanked by one of Team Europe’s rookies, on Saturday morning.

It has been a chastening Ryder Cup for the Americans and both Koepka and Scottie Scheffler were subjects of a record foursomes defeat when they ran smack into Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Åberg. Both of the US stars were then rested for the afternoon session. The developments comes after Koepka called out Rahm for a moment of frustration in their Friday afternoon game.

“I mean, I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did,” Koepka told a reporter, “but, you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”

Rahm spoke with the media today [Saturday] after he and Tyrrell Hatton had combined for another European fourballs win.

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm on Brooks Koepka comments

The following are all the questions and answers between reporters and European pair Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton at their Saturday press briefing.

Q. Can I take you back to last night after the match last night, Brooks Koepka accused you of acting like a child in that match. Can you explain to us if there’s any context to that and your reaction to that, and also how do you think Brooks’ doing so far?

JON RAHM: Context or what happened or what he said?

Q. His remarks. He accused you of acting like a child?

JON RAHM: I mean, I’m not going to stand here and say I’m a, you know, perfect example on what to do on a golf course. I don’t think either of us two are (laughter). But I play and compete.

TYRRELL HATTON: I’m just sitting here watching the TV!

JON RAHM: I don’t think I need to say anything else in that regard. I play and compete the way I think I need to play and compete, and yeah, I think he mentioned it. I’m not happy I left a 10-footer short on 17 to possibly tie the hole, and going up to the tee, I let off some frustration hitting the board sideways, I kept walking, never stopped, that was it. If Brooks thinks that’s childish, it is what it is. He’s entitled to think what he thinks, and I mean, I don’t know what else to say.

Q. Just wonder how you feel when you get accused by an American.

JON RAHM: I’m very comfortable with who I am and what I do. I’ve done much worse on a golf course like that. That doesn’t even register to a low level of Jon anger on the golf course.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m very happy with who I am, and I needed to do that at that moment to let off some steam and play the hole I wanted to do. And clearly it worked out, played two great shots and got a little lucky on the putt. I needed to do what I needed to do to perform under those circumstances.

Is it right or wrong, childish or not? I don’t know, but that’s what I needed at the moment.

Q. Was it motivating for you at all hearing those comments? Did you see them yesterday?

JON RAHM: It’s hard not to see it nowadays. Everybody is on social media, not myself, but I can’t control what my friends do, so they do send it to me. I wish they hadn’t, to be honest.

But whatever he says it shouldn’t be changed on the way I approach this tournament, right. That’s it. I’m here to do my job, and whatever comments anybody else may have shouldn’t really change the way I go about it or what I think of myself. It wasn’t good or bad, really. It just simply is, and that’s it.

Jon Rahm

Q. And going back to the questions about Brooks and Jon, as his mate, do you get a little bit protective when you hear people saying things about Jon like that?

TYRRELL HATTON: I mean, I don’t think you can really… I think trying to avoid outside noise is the best thing to do. Just go about your business and try and stay and have like tunnel vision towards your goal of what you’re trying to achieve.

Especially on a week like this, tensions are high. Emotions are pretty high. And yeah, sometimes certain things might be said or may be taken out of context, but I don’t think you can really look into that too deeply. I think you just carry on in our team room, we are just… we’re all good. We are enjoying each other’s company and not really looking at the outside at all.

Q. That match yesterday afternoon with Scheffler and Brooks was intense, and you made two eagles on the last three holes. Just wondering, is that maybe just frustration from him? And have you ever had issues with Brooks? That doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

JON RAHM: I’ve never had an issue with Brooks, to be fair. I don’t know now, but up until yesterday afternoon, I thought we had a pretty good relationship, you know. We’re both pretty much, you know, straight-up people that don’t like the BS — excuse my language — in between. There’s always been that mutual respect. And he’s always been an incredible player, and he’s always done amazing things.

And it could be that. Listen, had I seen somebody make the putt on 18 the way I did, I would not have been the happiest of people either. Clearly there was a little bit of luck involved with that. But it is match play. I think we saw plenty of the opposite when we were at Whistling Straits two years ago.

But yeah, I think it could be attributed to it being a long day and seeing what happened on the last three holes that we did. I really don’t know what else to say about it. It was a heck of a match. I think they played 10-under par, and Nicolai and I had a great day it. Was really, really fun to be a part of it and experience that.


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