Golf News

The brutal honesty from Brooks Koepka (and other pros) is an amazing insight

Brooks Koepka answers a question during the LIV Golf press conference this week.

Hailey Garrett/LIV Golf

Everyone is given the right to be brutally honest on their birthday, as Brooks Koepka was on Friday, his 34th birthday. The only hook with Brooks is that he is almost always brutally honest. He shares a lot of what he thinks, rarely softening his answers to make anyone feel good.

That much was on display in Singapore, where Koepka came out on top after the first round of this week's LIV event. Koepka shot five under with one bogey, one of his better rounds in recent time. He was asked if such a round would boost his confidence. It's a question professionals are asked all the time. And what do they usually say?

“Oh, good. Definitely a confidence boost. There are big tournaments coming up, so it's good.”

So what does Koepka say?

“To be honest with you, not much. I just look at it like it's a process. Not trying to go up this week, not trying to go up next week, it's the next week.”

That is not true. In the world of golf where reality is often stretched these days, we all know that the goal of the universe is not for the players to reach the top this week, in Singapore or Dallas, and not next week, when the PGA Tour goes to Charlotte. . It's the following week, at the PGA Championship in Louisville. Yes, a good first round is just that, good. But does it boost Koepka's confidence? To be honest with you, not much.

“My confidence is there,” he continued. “There were just no results. But the goal is to have a great season, and that's what we're doing.”

It's possible that we – the media group, the communications staff, the fans, the TV broadcasts – put the microphones in front of the players more often. Explain how your 66 is different than the one you shot last week? What does today's 68 tell you about your game? I don't mean “often” by the feeling of regret. Putting microphones in front of them is our job. Mainly, that professional golfers are not good at telling the difference between 67s. If one good round is noticeably different than another, it may be a mistake. And it is possible that the experts search all 67s will be the same, losing the nuance that makes us, the fans, giddy. All we want to do is understand this terrible game better, and find out how the geniuses who play it work best during a season full of 76 paradoxes and 67 content.

Hearing that a smooth 66 isn't a confidence booster for Koepka is surprising, because we hear it. it should be. But that's just what Koepka tells us about who he really is. What you really think. That it doesn't matter… for now. At its core, a quote like this is all we can ask for from these professionals who get a microphone stuck to their face on a regular basis. What Koepka offered may have been brutal, but it was honest. And on Koepka's scale, it didn't register much, because brutal honesty is his modus operandi. But it wasn't the only time the expert was brutally honest this week.

A quick scan of similar, first-round press conferences this week shows two more people speaking their minds as honestly as possible. First, Koepka's LIV brother, Thomas Pieters, also carded 66 in the first round. Did the RangeGoats' victory last year in Singapore give him confidence this year?

“No,” said Pieters. No other name is needed. Indeed, it is possible that returning to the place where the team won last year was a confidence booster. But Pieters' brutal honesty is something that pros don't always like to admit: that good vibes on the course are good. Just fine. But 12 months is a long time in the pro golf world. Confidence is long-lasting but it isn't that long. And actually, it was Talor Gooch and Harold Varner who carried that team last year, two players who moved on to other teams. Pieters finished T23 that week, in the middle of the pack.

When asked how he should leave the team this week and start leadership, Pieters said, “Just play better than them.” It may have been worse, but there is truth there. Pieters can't really do a ton to ensure he's going to win. He is one player and yet Sebastian Munoz who plays is very dependent on Sebastian Munoz. Pieters should play better than he did.

Finally, at the end of Pieters' streak there was a question about his speed of play. He is a fast player, and obviously faster than his playing partners. Does it help him play better if he can play faster? Does it bother him when others play less? Pieters offered his most difficult thought of the day:

“Oh, yes, because it's cheating. There is a law about it. I play fast because if I stand on it for too long, I start to think. Less time, less thinking. ”

What a great insight next time Pieters is in contention on Sunday. Every second on the ball (even that of his playing partners) becomes more fun.

Our last brutal honesty came from Matt Wallace, a 34-year-old Brit, who played a day's round in the CJ Cup Byron Nelson on Thursday, half way around the world from Singapore. Like Koepka, Wallace has a reputation for saying exactly what's on his mind. Which, as of this writing, is exactly what we like to see. Even if it comes with a touch of negativity. As we saw with Brian Harman on RBC Heritage a few weeks ago, sometimes the hardest times are the real times.

After carding an opening 63, Wallace was asked if he had ever felt a round like that coming to him. When he said yes, he was asked how he felt about his season so far.

“It's bad,” Wallace said, nodding his head in agreement. That is his brutal truth. “I played badly. But I'm old enough now to know that the season is long. There is a lot of golf to be played.

“I haven't played as well as I wanted to, but the thing I'm focused on the way I didn't start the season was in September when I started the Ryder Cup points.”

Your favorite golf pro may be willing to admit he's not playing well, but most pros don't like to say it out loud. They may soften it. They may be uncomfortable to use badly as the adjective they choose. And they won't even go so far as to admit that the shiny trophy at the end of the rainbow isn't really the plaque being handed out this week, but the placement on the team 17 months from now. The Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black in September 2025. That's what he's focused on, here in May 2024.

How important this twice-yearly event is in the minds of professional golfers. Especially those who have never played in it. Wallace got a first-team performance at the Hero Cup last January as Luke Donald brought together a few teams in Abu Dhabi to get the juices flowing for the European team. Stop teasing. Wallace didn't play well enough in the months that followed to merit consideration for the draft, and apparently that cost him enough that he was locked out of making the team next year. There are five months left before his points start to accumulate. I love that you said it out loud.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button