GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy (AP) — Blunt as ever, Brooks Koepka took a dig at Jon Rahm on Friday after a bruising day for the Americans in the Ryder Cup when he accused him in a brief television interview of acting like a child. All that was missing was context.
Koepka and Scottie Scheffler were poised to earn the first American point, leading 1 up on the 18th hole with Koepka facing a 5-foot birdie putt. Rahm holed his 35-foot eagle putt with such force it banged into the back of the cup, giving Europe a halve.
It felt like a loss to the Americans, especially after they birdied the last five holes. Rahm chipped in from the rough for eagle on the 16th hole and made the eagle putt at the end.
“I mean, I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did,” Koepka said in the television interview. “But you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”
There was no follow and no immediate access to Koepka. Neither captain was aware or knew to what he might have been referring.
“Jon is a passionate person, but I didn’t see him acting any other way,” Luke Donald of Europe said after the matches, with his team leading by five points.
Rahm is known for his passion in the Ryder Cup — anywhere, really. His reaction to the eagle putt was relatively tame, perhaps because he hit the putt so hard.
The Spaniard’s first Ryder Cup match in 2018 was fourballs against Koepka and Tony Finau. The Americans never led in that match in France until winning the last hole for a 1-up victory that was secured when Rahm missed a 10-foot putt.
Rahm and Sergio Garcia twice beat Koepka at Whistling Straits (his partners were Daniel Berger and Jordan Spieth). Koepka beat Rahm in 19 holes in the fourth round of the Match Play in Texas last year.
Most recently, Rahm overcame a two-shot deficit against Koepka in the final round of the Masters to win the green jacket. Koepka later sent him a social media message congratulating Rahm and telling him it was well-earned.