Brooks Koepka on Relationship with Rory McIlroy Amid Conflict Between LIV and PGA

Brooks emphasized that both golfers are focused on their future on the Tours they compete in

by Sead Dedovic
Brooks Koepka on Relationship with Rory McIlroy Amid Conflict Between LIV and PGA
© Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images Sport

Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy haven't exactly been on ideal terms when reflecting on the past and the moments following the creation of LIV Golf. Brooks Koepka's departure sparked criticism from many fans and PGA Tour golfers, with Rory McIlroy being one of those disappointed about Koepka's exit. 

The experienced Northern Irishman viewed Koepka's and other PGA Tour players' departure as hypocritical, believing that money was the main motive for their allegiance to LIV Golf. 

Koepka didn't have much of a reaction back then, stating that Rory McIlroy can think whatever he wants, emphasizing that he's not interested in McIlroy's opinion or that of other golfers. 

Things are evidently different now. 

Rory McIlroy has changed his stance, this time having a more positive view of LIV Golf and its players. In an interview with GOLF, Koepka confirmed that as he was building his career on the big stage, he looked up to the big names of the golf scene, and one of the names he looked up to was Rory McIlroy. His intentions were to observe the game of these great golfers and have the opportunity to learn something new. It seems that Koepka did a good job observing others and learning from them.

I think, especially when I was first coming up, from ’12 to ’16, obviously I don’t want to say ‘idolized,’ that would be the wrong word. But I looked up to him a little bit,”-Brooks Koepka commented on McIlroy, as quoted by Golf Magic!

“And trying to figure out, okay, that’s how he goes about it. 

I think one thing I did a really good job of was picking guys. [Dustin Johnson], [Graeme McDowell], Rory, because he was playing so good at the time. It was, okay, grab little things from this guy here, this guy, make it your own."

Koepka confirmed that they had become friends over time and that he enjoyed playing with them. Koepka's talent was immediately noticeable, attracting notable attention from fans, players, and golf organization executives. Brooks confirmed that they even practiced in the same place and sometimes lived together.

But then our friendship has just developed over the years. I’ve enjoyed playing with him, playing against him. 

I’m pretty sure he’s done the same thing. But it’s a lot of fun, man. We practice at the same place. Live in the same area. How could you not?”- he continued.

Koepka considers the Northern Irishman a good person. Throughout their careers, they've shared many interesting moments and encounters on the golf course, but nothing has managed to spoil their friendship. Koepka admitted that he and Rory often talked and laughed about things in the world of golf. He confessed that they did this when nobody else was around. 

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka© Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Sport

This amazing golfer also revealed that when they practiced at the golf course and saw there was nobody around, they would decide to approach each other to talk and laugh about certain anecdotes or news. The transition to LIV Golf certainly changed their dynamic, but it seems that there is still no ill will between them. Koepka still holds respect for the Northern Irishman.

Brooks Koepka respects Rory McIlroy's honesty

Brooks emphasized that both golfers are focused on their future on the Tours they compete in, ready to achieve success and win trophies. Koepka believes that McIlroy has always been honest with him, which greatly influences their relationship for the better. Despite everything, Koepka hopes that one of the LIV Golfers will succeed in winning this year's Masters. Thirteen of them will be competing this year, but only one, if any, will have a chance to win this competition. 

Rory McIlroy is one of the golfers who will likely be the most motivated at the Masters, ready to win the Major that is missing from his CV. Rory aims to give his best this year, despite being under huge pressure from fans and the media. The Northern Irishman is one of the favorites to win, and we have no doubt that he will indeed succeed in reaching the final stages. This year's Masters is special for many reasons, and we hope for an exciting competition and great golf. There's not much time left until the start of this major event.

Judging by Koepka's statements, he would prefer someone from his LIV Golf colleagues to wear the Green Jacket rather than Rory McIlroy. It's clear that Koepka prioritizes LIV Golf above all else. Among the LIV Golfers, there is a positive atmosphere and sense of unity, along with the hope that they can showcase their qualities in this major competition.

Brooks Koepka Rory Mcilroy Pga