Jon Rahm Hits Back at Brooks Koepka and Addresses Ryder Cup Incident
The tension between Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka continues to grow after their Ryder Cup clash on Friday. Koepka had labeled Rahm “a child” following their fourball match, which ended in a tie after a late rally by Rahm and his partner Nicolai Hojgaard.
It was Rahm’s impressive chip-in for eagle on the 16th hole and another fabulous eagle on the 18th that earned them a crucial half point. However, it was Rahm’s behavior after a setback on the 17th hole that seemed to frustrate Koepka.
Rahm, in response, acknowledged his shortcoming and admitted that his actions were childish. “I’m not happy I left the 10ft putt short on 17 to tie the hole. On the way to the tee, I let out some frustration and hit the board sideways. I didn’t stop and kept on walking. It was childish. But it is what it is. I don’t know what else to say,” Rahm explained.
However, Rahm also defended his approach to the game, stating, “I’m very comfortable with who I am and what I do, I’ve done much worse on the course, that doesn’t even reach Jon anger on the course. I needed to do that at that time, to do what I had to do, clearly it worked out. I got a bit lucky on the putt, is it right or wrong? I did what I had to do.”
Rahm also addressed the impact of social media and comments from opponents. “It’s hard not to see it nowadays. Everybody is on social media. My friends send it to me. Whatever he says, it shouldn’t be changing the way I approach this tournament. I’m here to do my job. Whatever comments anybody has, shouldn’t change who I am and what I do.”
Koepka, who suffered a crushing defeat in his match against Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland, had accused Rahm of acting like a child. Rahm sought to downplay any tension between the teams, highlighting his past “good relationship” with Koepka. “I’ve never had an issue with Brooks. I don’t know what happened. I thought we had a pretty good relationship,” Rahm said.
Europe captain Luke Donald also weighed in, stating that he did not witness any inappropriate behavior from Rahm. “Jon was a big support system for Nicolai, to hit a drive like that on 18 and make an eagle for a half, he’s a passionate person, I didn’t see him acting any other way.”
The incident has divided opinions among players. Zach Johnson sided with Koepka, stating that Rahm should have played the percentages and not left his putt short. However, Rahm’s relentless competitive spirit and passion for the game cannot be denied.
As the Ryder Cup progresses, it remains to be seen how Rahm and Koepka’s relationship will evolve and whether their clash will have any impact on the overall competition. Regardless, both players are determined to fulfill their roles and contribute to their respective teams’ success.