Rory McIlroy wasn't a fan of Brooks Koepka's post-round comments Saturday when the four-time major champion took multiple digs at 54-hole leader Dustin Johnson.
After finishing his third round two shots back of Johnson heading into Sunday, Koepka jabbed Johnson over his track record in major championships. McIlroy was asked about Koepka's comments after his final round at the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, pointing out Johnson's overall career success compared to Koepka.
“I certainly wouldn’t say it,” McIlroy said. “It’s different, right? It’s a very different mentality to bring to golf that I don’t think a lot of golfers have.
“I certainly try to respect everyone out here,” McIlroy later said. “Everyone is a great player. If you’ve won a major championship, you’re a hell of a player. Doesn’t mean you’ve only won once; you’ve won one, and you’ve had to do a lot of good things to do that. It’s sort of hard to knock a guy that’s got 21 wins on the PGA Tour, which is three times what Brooks has.”
McIlroy, who finished the 2020 PGA Championship with a 2-under-par 68, has traded barbs with Koepka in the past. While both players refute the idea that they have a rivalry, there certainly is no love lost between the two. Koepka has thrown shade at McIlroy in the past by correctly pointing out that the Northern Irishman hasn't won a major since Koepka rose to stardom.
As for Koepka's attempt to get into Johnson's head before the final round of the year's first major, McIlroy doesn't think it will work.
“If he’s trying to play mind games, he’s trying to do it to the wrong person,” McIlroy said. “I don’t think DJ really gives much of a concern to that.”
With a win Sunday, Koepka would become the first player to win three straight PGA Championships since Walter Hagen did so from 1924-27.
If Johnson can hang on at TPC Harding Park, he'll not only stop Koepka's bid at history but add a second major to his resume and cement himself as one of the greats of his generation.