Brooks Koepka has been labelled an ‘entitled brat’ following a controversial exchange with Ryder Cup officials during the Saturday foursomes. Koepka and partner Daniel Berger were one down on the par-4 15th in their crucial match with Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, when Berger’s drive landed near a drainage pipe just off the fairway.
Koepka, 31, clearly felt he was entitled to relief and a free drop given the awkward lie, and after being told that the position of the pipe did not warrant such a ruling, argued vehemently with match referee David Price and then European Tour official David Litton.
“Have you ever seen me hit a ball?” Koepka asked, after Price dismissed his claim he would not be able to execute a full golf swing.
Four-time major winner Koepka is returning from a wrist injury sustained at the season-finale Tour Championship this month, and even tried to use that to bolster his argument: “If I break my wrist, it’s on ******* both of you,” he ranted.
His behaviour drew criticism from the Sky Sports Golf commentary team, who felt that Koepka needed to take a penalty drop if he did not feel his wrist was up to sustaining the impact of a difficult shot from the rough.
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Opponent Garcia however, saw the funny side, appearing to spit out his drink as he laughed at Koepka’s belligerence.
Ironically, the US star then produced a stunning 200-yard shot to find the green and secure a half – although it mattered little as Spaniards Rahm and Garcia wrapped things up in the two holes that followed to prevail 3&1.
However, Koepka’s antics drew scathing criticism from golf fans, with @yabbadabba221 tweeting: “Koepka/Berger trying to bully #RyderCup2021 officials over a ruling dispute was not a good look. Acting like two entitled brats.”
@SportsPaulH argued the pair should be forced to apologise: “It’s the lack of respect Koepka and Berger had when speaking to referee David Price that I found especially bad, and Price knows what he’s doing. Those two acted like a couple of punks and I hope they’re made to apologise.”
The outcry continued with @BrianSw79975558 saying: “The hassle and threats that Koepka and Berger have just subjected two referees to is totally unacceptable. The ball was clearly playable poor behaviour from the American team.
“The ball was clearly playable, poor behaviour from the American team.”
Sky News Business correspondent Paul Kelso added: “Charmless Koepka and Berger told by two referees, (one US, one Brit) they can’t have a drop and still in their ears. Berger’s parting shot “that’s bull**t”. Exactly the sort of aggro Europe need (and Garcia didn’t need to say a word).”
Whilst European fans would have been left satisfied by the American duo going on to lose their match though, their side has a mountain to climb to retain the Ryder Cup.