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Rahm says Koepka criticism was over something that wouldn’t register on ’Jon anger’ scale

Europe's Spanish golfer, Jon Rahm
Europe's Spanish golfer, Jon Rahm chips onto the 16th green during his foursomes match on the second day of play in the 44th Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome on September 30, 2023. Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI /AFP via Getty Images

GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy (AP) — Brooks Koepka could have used a board to pound Saturday in the Ryder Cup. Jon Rahm didn’t need one, and he doesn’t know what caused all the fuss.

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Koepka kept everyone guessing — about the incident, not his blunt nature — when he accused the Masters champion of pouting after their fourballs match Friday afternoon, which Rahm ended with a 35-foot eagle putt.

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“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.”

Rahm filled in the details, or what he could make of it, after he put up another point for Europe in Saturday foursomes.

“I mean, I’m not going to stand here and say I’m a perfect example on what to do on a golf course. I don’t think either of us two are,” Rahm said as he sat next to Tyrrell Hatton, another player known for expressing his feelings for all to see. “But I play and compete.”

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The moment to which Koepka referred came on the 17th hole of the fourballs match. Rahm had a 10-foot putt that would have squared the match with one hole to play when he left it short.

“Going up to the tee, I let off some frustration, hitting the board sideways,” Rahm said. “I kept walking, never stopped, that was it. If Brooks thinks that’s childish, it is what it is. He’s entitled to think what he thinks. I don’t know what else to say.”

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“I’ve done much worse on a golf course,” he said. “That doesn’t even register to a low level of ‘Jon anger’ on the golf course. As far as I’m concerned, I’m very happy with who I am, and I needed to do that at that moment to let off some steam and play the hole I wanted to do. And clearly, it worked out.

“Is it right or wrong, childish or not, I don’t know,” he said. “But that’s what I needed at the moment.”

Rahm was given the afternoon off, going 2-0-1 in the team portion. So was Koepka after an ugly display in Saturday morning foursomes. Koepka and Scottie Scheffler suffered the worst defeat in Ryder Cup history when Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg beat them, 9 and 7.

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