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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

'Guys like to complain' - Defending champ Koepka dismisses US Open criticism

The build-up has been dogged by criticism of the United States Golf Association’s running of the event.

Brooks Koepka pictured after winning the 2018 US Open.
Brooks Koepka pictured after winning the 2018 US Open.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

BROOKS KOEPKA SHRUGGED off complaints about the set-up for next week’s US Open as he returns to golf for his first tournament since clinching victory at the PGA Championship.

World number one Koepka will be chasing a rare hat-trick of US Open titles at Pebble Beach next week, aiming to become only the second man in history to win the tournament three times in row.

The build-up to the 13-16 June tournament has been dogged by criticism of the United States Golf Association’s running of the event, with several players complaining of difficult set-ups or courses that were sub-standard.

A recent story in Golf Digest magazine included remarks from several anonymous players criticising the USGA’s running of the US Open, claiming that several professionals had even considered boycotting the event.

Koepka, however, who mastered treacherous conditions at Erin Hills in Wisconsin to win his first US Open in 2017, before defending his title at a similarly demanding Shinnecock Hills last year, has little time for the grievances of his fellow professionals.

“Whatever they’re doing, it’s working for me,” Koepka said when asked about the US Open set-up. “So I don’t care what they do.

“We’ve all got to play the same golf course. It doesn’t matter. Guys like to complain. I just don’t complain. We’ve all got to deal with the same issues. If you hit the fairways and hit every green you’re not going to have any problems.”

Koepka is preparing for his tilt at a US Open hat-trick by playing in this week’s Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club outside of Toronto. The American star arrived in Canada having not picked up a club since his PGA win at Bethpage Black in New York.

“It was nice to recharge mentally and try and soak it in a little bit,” said Koepka, who hopes simply to leave Canada this week feeling as if his game is in good order.

“It doesn’t even matter about the result,” he said. “I could care less. As long as I leave feeling confident, striking the ball where I want to, just hit some good putts.

“It doesn’t matter if they go in or not, I just want to feel confident. The result doesn’t matter, it’s how I feel I played that is important.”

© – AFP, 2019

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