Jon Rahm responds to Brooks Koepka after being called a ‘child’ at Ryder Cup

Jon Rahm has hit back at Brooks Koepka after being labelled “a child” by the American after their Ryder Cup fourball match on Friday.

The five-time major winner was left frustrated after Team USA failed to deliver a point after Rahm, linking up with rookie Nicolai Hojgaard, rallied late for Europe.

The Spaniard chipped in for eagle on the 16th hole and produced another fabulous eagle on the 18th hole to earn half a point, with Koepka frustrated by his behaviour after a setback on the 17th hole at Marco Simone Golf Club.

“I’m not going to stand here and say I’m the perfect example of what to do on a golf course, I don’t think either of us (sitting next to Tyrrell Hatton) are, I play and compete the way I think I need to play and compete. He mentioned it,” Rahm said.

“I’m not happy I left the 10ft putt short on 17 to tie the hole. On the way to the tee, I let out some frustration and hit the board sideways. I didn’t stop and kept on walking. It was childish. But it is what it is. I don’t know what else to say.

“I’m very comfortable with who I am and what I do, I’ve done much worse on the course, that doesn’t even reach Jon anger on the course. I needed to do that at that time, to do what I had to do, clearly it worked out. I got a bit lucky on the putt, is it right or wrong? I did what I had to do.

“It’s hard not to see it nowadays. Everybody is on social media. My friends send it to me. Whatever he says, it shouldn’t be changing the way I approach this tournament. I’m here to do my job. Whatever comments anybody has, shouldn’t change who I am and what I do.”

Koepka would back up his agonising defeat to Rahm and Hojgaard with a crushing 9&7 loss to Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland.

“I mean, I think me and Scottie birdied, what did we say, 14, we birdied 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and then lost by two,” Koepka had said on Friday.

“So yeah. I mean, I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did. But, you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”

Rahm then attempted to play down any tension between the teams, pointing to a “good relationship” with Koepka in the past.

Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka on the 18th hole at Marco Simone (REUTERS)
Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka on the 18th hole at Marco Simone (REUTERS)

“I’ve never had an issue with Brooks,” Rahm said. “I don’t know what happened. I thought we had a pretty good relationship.

“We’re straight up people, who don’t like the BS. There’s mutual respect. He’s an incredible player. Done amazing things. Had I seen somebody make the putt on 18 I wouldn’t have been happy either. Clearly there was some luck involved.

“It could be for the wrong day and seeing that happen the last three holes the way it did. It was a heck of a match, Nicolai and I had a great day.”

Europe captain Luke Donald also played down the issue: "I didn't see any of that,” Donald said. “Jon was a big support system for Nicolai, to hit a drive like that on 18 and make an eagle for a half, he's a passionate person, I didn't see him acting any other way."

While Zach Johnson sided with Koepka: “I'm sure Brooks is frustrated, like all 12, 18 of us, with today and the result.

“The way I see it, they were one down, the only thing you can't do in that situation is leave it short? Played the percentages, tip of the cap. Well done.”