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SBNation.com – All Posts: Rory McIlroy contradicts Brooks Koepka’s U.S. Open assessment of LACC


Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Los Angeles, 123rd U.S. Open Championship
LOS ANGELES — Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy during the first round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 15, 2023. | Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The 123rd U.S. Open at the Los Angeles Country Club has drawn mixed reviews, with Rory McIlroy chiming in on the subject with a strong take.

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.

Thus, whenever these two speak, people listen. Their words carry a lot of weight.

Following Friday’s round, Koepka made it known he was not a fan of this course, in a very blunt way.

Clearly, McIlroy does not agree with his assessment of the Los Angeles Country Club as a U.S. Open venue.

“It’s felt like a U.S. Open all week,” McIlroy said Saturday. “The scoring was surprisingly low over the first couple of days, but it doesn’t look or feel like any of the other three major championships. The U.S. Open has definitely got its own identity, and I think that identity was pretty strong from the opening tee shot on Thursday.”

Both players made the cut at the 123rd U.S. Open, as McIlroy heads into the final round just a stroke behind Rickie Fowler and Wyndham Clark, the 54-hole leaders.

Koepka, meanwhile, sits at even par—ten strokes back—after he shot an even-par 70 on Saturday. One has to wonder if Koepka’s performance played into how he felt about the course.

“I think [the winning score] should be around par,” Koepka said after Friday’s round. “I’m not a huge fan of this place. I’m not a huge fan of blind tee shots, and then I think there are just some spots where no matter what you hit, the ball ends up in the same spot. I think it would be more fun to play on just like a regular round than it would be a U.S. Open.”

Brooks Koepka, Los Angeles, 123rd U.S. Open Championship
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES — Brooks Koepka and his caddie Ricky Elliott react to a missed putt on the first green during the third round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 17, 2023.

Koepka does not like the Los Angeles Country Club, as he has struggled to gain momentum. On Saturday, Koepka got it to 3-under par but then double-bogeyed the short par-3 15th—the shortest par-3 in U.S. Open history—and then dropped a shot on the finishing hole too.

On the other hand, McIlroy has blistered his golf ball all over LACC as he leads the field in strokes gained off the tee. McIlroy opened with a 5-under 65, shot a 3-under 67 on Friday, and then carded a 1-under 69 on Saturday to put himself in a great spot heading into Sunday.

These two were not the only players to field this type of question. Viktor Hovland shared similar sentiments with Koepka. He does not like LACC either.

Regardless, a U.S. Open championship is on the line Sunday, and McIlroy has a great chance to win his first major title in nine years.

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