• Alistair Tait

What really happened at the Ryder Cup?


Two years ago, Brooks Koepka stared straight at the world’s press and denied he and Dustin Johnson had to be separated after an argument immediately after the United States lost the Ryder Cup in France.

We have to now wonder if perhaps the four-time major winner was telling porky pies.

Koepka was adamant. Indeed, his performance was so plausible it was hard to disbelieve him. Such good a performance it almost merited an Oscar nomination. Especially in light of the way Koepka dissed one of his supposed best friends during last week’s PGA Championship.

The Daily Telegraph's excellent golf correspondent James Corrigan got the scoop on what happened in the aftermath of that 2018 Ryder Cup loss and wrote the story.

Cue umbrage from Koepka when he turned up at St Andrews for the following week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Koepka rubbished James’s story. Here’s what he said:

“This Dustin thing I don’t get. There was no fight. There was no argument. He is one of my best friends; I love the kid to death. We talked on the phone Monday and yesterday. So tell me how we fought? I don’t know. People like to make a story and run with it. And this is not the first time a news story has gone out that isn’t true.
“It’s just laughable… we have never fought. That’s not our relationship. We are two even-keeled guys. I can’t remember raising my voice to him. And I don’t think he has ever raised his voice to me. Ever, in our four years of friendship. That’s not who we are.”

Losing U.S. captain Jim Furyk said the pair were like "brothers." Really? Didn’t sound like he loved Johnson “to death” like a brother when he dissed his chances of converting the 54-hole lead at Harding Park into a second major championship victory.


I’m all for players talking straight rather than resorting to the PR fluff the way many do. Like many, I cheered when Koepka called out Patrick Reed’s bunker shenanigans at the end of last year. However, he crossed a line when he questioned Johnson’s ability to close out a major championship on the eve of the final round. That sounded more like gamesmanship than straight talking.

In an interview with former Golfweek colleague Eamon Lynch, Koepka put paid to his close friendship with Johnson when he said:

“I’m not close with any of the guys out here.”

Once again, he accused the media of getting it wrong.

“I think even the Jordan (Spieth) and Justin (Thomas) thing gets blown out too much. I think you guys overplay — you guys overplay a lot of things.”

Oh, the bad old media! If we’re not making things up then we’re overplaying things. We really should learn our lesson, shouldn’t we?

What really happened in France that evening after that Ryder Cup? Perhaps Brooks would like to recant his St Andrews story given his penchant for telling it like it is.

My money’s on Mr Corrigan. I’ve known him for nearly 20 years and he’s one of the best in the business. Certainly not someone who makes things up. Maybe Brooks owes James Corrigan a wee apology.

It’s never too late

Jane Rees finally has a scratch handicap. At the age of 62. Further proof anything is possible in this great game.

The Welsh player won the English Senior Women’s Amateur Championship over the Green Course at Frilford Heath. Rounds of 71, 69 and 68 gave her a 2-under 208 total and a six-shot victory. It also helped her to her lowest handicap.

“First time ever down to scratch at the grand old age of 62!” she said. “I’m delighted with that.”

As she should be. Hope really does spring eternal.

#JustSaying: “Golf keeps the heart young, and the eyes clear.” Andrew Kirkaldy

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