Brooks Koepka insists he does not have a rivalry with Rory McIlroy because the Northern Irishman has not won a major since 2014.
World number one Koepka has enjoyed a phenomenal run in golf’s major events over recent years, claiming victory at the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens and 2018 and 2019 US PGA Championships.
In 2019, as well as winning the US PGA, he finished tied second at the Masters, second at the U.S. Open and tied fourth at The Open Championship.
McIlory, ranked number two in the world, finished last season by claiming the FedEx Cup and was named the PGA Tour’s player of the year – voted for by his fellow professionals.
But the 30-year-old’s wait for a fifth major now stands at five years, dating back to his triumph at the 2014 PGA Championship.
Speaking ahead of his CJ Cup defence, Koepka mischievously offered a reminder of this when the prospect of a rivalry with McIlroy was discussed.
“I’ve been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour. So I just don’t view it as a rivalry,” Koepka said, as per AFP.
I am very proud of my consistency and success this season so it is an incredible honor to have my fellow @PGATour players recognize me as the Player of the Year.
Already looking forward to next season! pic.twitter.com/9IXIV2xxDU
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) September 11, 2019
“I’m not looking at anybody behind me. I’m number one in the world. I’ve got open road in front of me. I’m not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don’t see it as a rivalry.
“You know if the fans do [call it a rivalry], then that’s on them and it could be fun.”
Koepka made sure to point out he remains a huge admirer of McIlroy’s game and suggested his stance on rivalries might have more to do with golf as a sport in general.
“Look, I love Rory. He’s a great player and he’s fun to watch,” he added. “But it’s just hard to believe there’s a rivalry in golf. I just don’t see it.”