Begay On Koepka Ghosting Tiger: "I Kind Of Like It"

Tiger Woods wanted to play a practice round with Brooks Koepka before the Open Championship. Koepka's response? There was none

Tiki and Tierney
July 17, 2019 - 11:50 am
Brooks Koepka Tiger Woods

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With the Open Championship approaching at Royal Portrush, Tiger Woods texted Brooks Koepka to see if he wanted to play a practice round together

Koepka’s response? There was none.

“I kind of like it,” Golf Channel analyst Notah Begay said on Tiki & Tierney. “Brooks wants to keep all the intel to himself. I think Tiger will get a chuckle and appreciate that himself.”

There is, of course, a reason for Koepka’s silence. His caddy, Ricky Elliott, grew up near Royal Portrush and knows the course inside and out.

“Ricky Elliott, when asked, said he’s probably gone around this venue at least 1,000 times,” Begay said. “Where that (advantage) really comes into play is if you get winds that come out from a slightly different directions than what players prepare for. In those cases, because he’s got such a good relationship with Brooks and because he knows his game so well and because they’ve had success in these types of big tournaments, he’s going to be able to help him navigate through all of that decision-making and come to a pretty confident understanding of what club needs to be hit. And that’s a huge advantage.”

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, has also played at Royal Portrush, which Begay says is “absolutely” an advantage. 

“This course can be diabolical,” Begay said. “You’re going to see some high scores from some pretty good players. I just wouldn’t put Rory as the co-favorite. I know he is in Vegas, along with Brooks, but he just historically doesn’t play links golf very well. When he won the Open Championship (in 2014), there wasn’t a ton of wind, he was able to take advantage of his length, and he was playing some of the best golf of anybody the world at the time. I think there’s a lot of expectation, a lot of pressure. He grew up very near near.”

It seems odd that McIlroy, who grew up in Ireland, doesn’t play links golf well. How is that possible.

“He just doesn’t,” Begay said, laughing. “He grew up idolizing Tiger. He modeled his game after Tiger. He hits it high, hits it far ad prefers to play sort of the American game. He’s going to have to modify that and maybe catch a week where there’s not so much wind as normal, which is probably not going to happen.”

Click below to listen to Begay’s interview in its entirety.