Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka came to the Canadian Open calling it a warm-up for golf’s next major championship next week. But is saying the result this week doesn’t matter going too far?
The Situation: The four-time major champion came to the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton having not touched a club since his win at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Even at Hamilton, with a corporate commitment on Tuesday and nine-holes in the pro-am Wednesday, Koepka didn’t see much of the golf course prior to the start of the tournament. He shot a rusty even-par round to open the tournament.
But it is his comment that many have attributed to the RBC Canadian Open that has rankled some feathers among Canadian golf fans—and news articles and opinion pieces have been critical of the star.
“It doesn’t really matter about the result,” he said. “I could care less what happens. I just want to feel good going into next week. It’s the same thing at Byron. I thought as long as I can leave feeling confident, striking the ball very well, starting it where I want to, finishing where I want to, and you know, just hit some good putts. It doesn’t matter if they do go in or not. I just want to feel confident leaving.”
The Controversy: So Koepka came to Canada not having practiced at all and doesn’t care about winning? Is he using the tournament as a warm-up for the U.S. Open? That’s left some passionate Canadian golf fans feeling less than supportive of Koepka, who is the No. 1 player in the world.
The Debate—Koepka was just being honest
It makes sense that many of the players who are heading to Pebble Beach next week for the U.S. Open using the RBC Canadian Open as a warm-up. Isn’t that one of the lures of the golf tournament’s new date?
Added to that is the fact Koepka is a different kind of golfer, one who seems to be principally focused on winning majors. After all, Koepka has six wins in his career—and four of them are major championships. Moreover, Koepka was simply being honest—something we ask of athletes in all sports, but often criticize them for when they speak their mind.
The Debate—Koepka was disrespectful to a historic championship
At what point did the RBC Canadian Open, one of the game’s most historic events and our country’s only PGA Event, become just a stepping-stone? Koepka’s remarks don’t show a lot of love to the tens of thousands of fans who are coming to watch him play, not to mention those tuning in across the country. With its new date, exciting activations and being played on a great golf course, the RBC Canadian Open and Canadian fans deserve more than simply being viewed as a warm-up for a bigger event. And shouldn’t golf’s biggest stars want to win every week? You won’t find Tiger Woods ever saying he’s simply coasting through a tournament.
What are you saying?
Do you feel the media is being too hard on Koepka?
Or should Koepka be showing more respect to Canada’s national open?