Brooks Koepka on slight by Fox: ‘Somebody probably got fired over it or should’


PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Brooks Koepka’s swagger is on point, his confidence is at its peak and his form is in shape heading into his historical chase of a three-peat in the U.S. Open.

Now add another chip on his shoulder.

The latest culprit to slight Koepka is Fox Sports, which didn’t put the two-time defending champion and the world No. 1 in one of the network’s ads previewing the national championship at Pebble Beach.

The snub lit up Koepka, who has used perceived and outright slights as extra fuel to ignite his dominance in majors. He is trying to join Willie Anderson as the only players to win the U.S. Open three consecutive years.

“There’s been a couple of times where it’s just mind boggling. It’s like, really? Like, how do you forget that?” Koepka said Tuesday at Pebble Beach. “Just kind of shocked. They’ve had over a year to kind of put it out. So I don’t know. Somebody probably got fired over it or should.”

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This isn’t the first time Koepka’s been fired up. Ahead of this year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on Long Island, Koepka was angered when Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee questioned his toughness. Koepka won his second consecutive PGA title.

And after the first round of last year’s U.S. Open at Shinnecock on Long Island, Golf Channel ran a graphic with the scores of notables. Koepka wasn’t on the list. He won his second consecutive U.S. Open three days later.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Koepka said of some of the slights.

It doesn’t make sense to the rest of the field, either, who have paid the price of Koepka’s motivational wrath as he’s won four of his last eight starts in the game’s four biggest events. He is the only player in history to hold back-to-back titles in two majors simultaneously. He also finished second in this year’s Masters.

A win this week places him in the history books alongside Anderson, a Scottish immigrant who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975. Like Koepka, Anderson was said to have “an unflappable demeanor,” as 1908 U.S. Open champion Fred McLeod once described him.

Anderson, who died in 1910, won the 1901 U.S. Open at Myopia Hunt Club outside of Boston in the first 18-hole playoff in the event’s history. Then he won the U.S. Open in 1903 at Baltusrol in New Jersey, in 1904 at Glen View in Chicago and in 1905 at Myopia.

Koepka by chance came across the home where Anderson once lived in Scotland last year but said he doesn’t know much about the player and hasn’t Googled him.

“I’m not thinking about it,” he said.

Instead, as is his nature, he’s treating this week as any other.

“It’s just another golf tournament,” he said. “I have to go out and do what I’m supposed to do. And it’s going to be a tough test this week, we you all know that.

“The rough is definitely going to be a factor this week. It’s very, very thick. Very juicy. You’ve got to put the ball in the fairways. Not many drivers here. I don’t need driver that much, maybe four times this week. These greens are so small, you can almost put it in the center of every green and have 20 feet, no matter where the flag stick is. It really comes down to who’s going to make putts.”

Along with the chip on his shoulder, Koepka gained a huge boost of confidence in the last round of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. He almost squandered a 6-shot lead with four bogeys on the back nine during an hour that left him stunned. But he was able to reset and hold on for a 2-shot victory.

“I watched a 6-shot lead disappear very quickly. And walking to that 15th tee you could be very upset. I could have pouted about it. I could have done a million different things,” Koepka said.

“But all of a sudden I’ve got to reset. And now I know how to do that under pressure. I know how to do that and really handle myself and kind of right the ship. I think that’s going to be important going forward. I think it will definitely be a big advantage going forward.”

All in all, Koepka’s set.

“It’s a major championship,” he said. “I’m ready to go.”

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