February 25, 2024

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Rory McIlroy contradicts Brooks Koepka on setting up the US Open in the LACC

Rory McIlroy contradicts Brooks Koepka on setting up the US Open in the LACC

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka have combined to win nine major championships and are clearly the two greatest players of the post-Tiger Woods era.

And so, when these two speak, people listen. Their words carry great weight.

After Friday’s Tour, Koepka announced that he wasn’t impressed with the course in a very blunt way.

McIlroy clearly disagrees with his assessment of the Los Angeles Country Club as a venue open to the United States.

“It felt like the US Open all week,” McIlroy said Saturday. “The scoring was surprisingly low for the first couple of days, but it doesn’t look or feel like any of the other three Grand Slams. The US Open has definitely had its own identity, and I think the identity has been very strong since the opening match on Thursday.”

Both players made the cut at the 123rd US Open, as McElroy heads into the final round one stroke behind Rickie Fowler and Windham Clark, the 54-hole leaders.

Meanwhile, Koepka is sitting even — ten strokes back — after shooting an even-target 70 on Saturday. One has to wonder if Koepka’s performance played into how he felt about the course.

“I suspect [the winning score] Koepka said after Friday’s Tour. “I’m not a huge fan of this place. I’m not a big fan of blind tee shots, and then I think there are just some points where no matter what you shoot, the ball ends up in the same place. I think it would be more fun to play in a regular round than the American Championship.” open.”

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LOS ANGELES – Brooks Koepka and caddy Ricky Elliott react to missed shots on the first green during the third round of the 123rd US Open at Los Angeles Country Club on June 17, 2023.
Photo by Harry Ho/Getty Images

Not liking the Los Angeles Country Club, Koepka struggled to gain momentum. On Saturday, Koepka had a par-3 par but then par-3 par 15—the shortest par-3 in US Open history—and then dropped a putt on the finishing hole as well.

McIlroy, on the other hand, has scattered his golf ball all over the LACC as he leads the field in hits earned from the tee. McIlroy opened with a 5-under 65, shot a 3-under 67 on Friday, then scored a 1-under 69 on Saturday to put himself in great shape ahead of Sunday.

These two weren’t the only players who answered this kind of question. Victor Hovland shared similar sentiments with Koepka. He also does not like LACC.

Regardless, the US Open is at stake on Sunday, and McIlroy has a great chance of winning his first major title in nine years.