Brooks Koepka has established himself as the premier bomber and gouger on the PGA Tour, one who shows significant disregard for club-strangling rough.
He has starred in major championships, winning three, and has overcome a perceived lack of respect for his talents to carry a significant chip on his shoulder on his way to becoming the No. 1 player in the world.
That hunk of lumber was shown off again this week when Koepka bantered with the media at CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea. He was asked about the rivalry between he and the No. 2 player in the world, Rory McIlroy.
“I’ve been out here for what, five years?” Kopeka said. “Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour. So I don’t view it as a rivalry.”
And while that might sound cocky and a bit arrogant, there’s evidence to support his thinking.
McIlroy hasn’t won a major since the 2014 PGA Championship. Since then, Koepka has been a monster in the game’s biggest events, winning four majors while finishing T4 or better in all four this year.
Head-to-head, Koepka blew McIlroy away in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in July while McIlroy returned serve the next month when he won the $15 million FedEx Cup, with Koepka watching. And McIlroy won Player of the Year honors as voted by PGA Tour players.
“I’m not looking at anybody behind me,” Koepka said. “I’m No. 1 in the world. I’ve got open road in front of me and I’m not looking in the rear-view mirror, so I don’t see it as a rivalry.”
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One of the oldest golf courses in western Pennsylvania will remove the flagsticks from its greens for the final time on Dec. 31, 2019.
Valley Green Golf Course, located not far from Greensburg in Westmoreland County, was once a thriving home to numerous leagues and recreational play, has suffered from a drop of participation in recent years. The older generation has started to fade away and play among younger people hasn’t kept up.
Many, many years ago a couple of us went out to Valley Green to play a quick morning round. On the first tee we were approached by an older gentleman who asked if he could join us. We said, “Sure” and off we went.
As we sent golf balls flying left and right, our diminutive partner kept the ball down the middle and never seemed to be in trouble. I had to ask him what he shot after the round and he told us 68,
We were embarrassed, humbled and really made as we drove back to the office.
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The West Penn Golf Association will hold its annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Champions Dinner Wednesday the 30th at Oakmont Country Club. This year’s HOF inductees are Jim Ferree, a noted teacher, player and ambassador for the game and Jeff Rivard, former Executive Director of the West Penn Golf Association.
Ticket information can be found on the Association’s website, wpga.org.
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I sure hope the high school golfers who qualified for the PIAA Championships this week in York get some nice weather.
The memories of being out there on that Heritage Hills Country Club course while the wind blew, the rain and/or snow fell are still vivid and somewhat painful.
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Did you see the story about the lady who was assessed 58 penalty strokes last week in the Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort in Indiana?
Lee Ann Walker was a professional golfer earlier in her life, but now is in real estate in Southport, North Carolina. She admits she doesn’t watch golf now and wasn’t aware of the rules that penalize players for having their caddie line her up on putts.
Her playing partners made her aware of what she was doing wrong on the fifth hole of her second and final round. Walker immediately brought the situation to the attention of an official, who told her to keep play while the rules staff decided what to do.
She was instructed to keep playing and they would discuss the situation following her round. Walker was told she wouldn’t be disqualified because she wasn’t aware of the rules change.
At that point, she was asked to recreate the times her caddie helped her in this way. She was given a two-stroke penalty each time it happened, adding 42 strokes to her opening score of 85 in the first round and 16 more strokes to her second round score.
I have two questions about all of this:
n How could Laura Baugh and Laura Shanahan-Rowe, her playing partners, not say anything to her until the fifth hole of the second round? I don’t know all the details, but it seems pretty lame for those two not tell this lady she was breaking the rules.
n Where were the officials in all of this? I would be shocked if those in charge had not been made aware by somebody that this took place in the first round and wouldn’t have said something.
But hey, what do I know?
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Do you have an interesting story about your club or course or an individual who has done something special, let me know? Send your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Dudurich is a freelance golf writer and hosts The Golf Show on 93.7 The Fan, Saturday mornings from 7-8 during golf season. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Mike Dudurich.