Rahm: No issue with Koepka after ‘child’ barb

Golf

GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy — Jon Rahm said he has no issues with Brooks Koepka after the American accused him of acting like a child on Friday at the Ryder Cup but Rahm did admit to taking out his frustration hitting one of the boards leading up to the 18th tee.

Rahm and his partner Nicolai Hojgaard managed to get a key half point for Europe on Friday in the fourball after they tied their match against Koepka and Scottie Scheffler on the 18th having been two holes down with three to play.

Rahm chipped in from 63 feet for eagle on the 16th and then slotted a 35-foot putt on the 18th to tie the match. Koepka was clearly frustrated and said in a television interview: “I mean, I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did. But you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”

Rahm was asked about the comments on Saturday after he helped Europe to a 9 ½ – 2 ½ lead after the morning foursomes where he and Tyrrell Hatton defeated Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele 2&1.

“I’m not going to stand here and say I’m a, you know, perfect example on what to do on a golf course,” Rahm said. “I play and compete the way I think I need to play and compete, and yeah, I think he mentioned it. I’m not happy I left a 10-footer short on 17 to possibly tie the hole, and going up to the tee, I let off some frustration hitting the board sideways, I kept walking, never stopped, that was it. If Brooks thinks that’s childish, it is what it is. He’s entitled to think what he thinks, and I mean, I don’t know what else to say.”

Rahm said he’s staying away from social media, but was made aware of the comments by his friends who sent Koepka’s criticism to him.

“I’m very comfortable with who I am and what I do,” Rahm said. “I’ve done much worse on a golf course like that. That doesn’t even register to a low level of Jon anger on the golf course.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m very happy with who I am, and I needed to do that at that moment to let off some steam and play the hole I wanted to do. And clearly it worked out, played two great shots and got a little lucky on the putt. I needed to do what I needed to do to perform under those circumstances. Is it right or wrong, childish or not, I don’t know, but that’s what I needed at the moment.”

And when asked whether there was an issue between Koepka and him, Rahm answered: “I’ve never had an issue with Brooks, to be fair. I don’t know now, but up until yesterday afternoon, I thought we had a pretty good relationship, you know.

“There’s always been that mutual respect. And he’s always been an incredible player, and he’s always done amazing things.

“And it could be that. Listen, had I seen somebody make the putt on 18 the way I did, I would not have been the happiest of people either. Clearly there was a little bit of luck involved with that. But it is match play. I think we saw plenty of the opposite when we were at Whistling Straits two years ago.

“But yeah, I think it could be attributed to it being a long day and seeing what happened on the last three holes that we did. I really don’t know what else to say about it. It was a heck of a match. I think they played 10-under par, and Nicolai and I had a great day it. Was really, really fun to be a part of it and experience that.”

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