Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open
The U.S. Open is known as the toughest test in golf, with narrow fairways, penalizing rough, and pin placements almost impossible to reach.
Some of the top pros claim the way the USGA has set up its championship courses in recent years is more than tough; it's been unfair.
Those complaints were a big topic of conversation Tuesday after practice rounds for this week's U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at the famed and picturesque Pebble Beach in northern California.
But you won't hear any moaning from the guy who is going for his third consecutive U.S. Open title.
"I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course," Brooks Koepka said.
"It doesn't make a difference if you put it in the fairway and you hit every green, there's really no problem, is there? So obviously they're not doing what they're supposed to do. So they're not playing good enough. If they put it in the fairway, you shouldn't have to complain about the rough. You hit the greens and you hit it close, you shouldn't have to complain about the greens.
"I've just never been one to complain, make excuses. It doesn't matter. Nobody wants to hear anybody's excuse. I find it annoying even when I play with guys and they're dropping clubs or throwing them or complaining, like telling me how bad the golf course is or how bad this is. I don't want to hear it. I don't care. It doesn't matter to me.
"It's just something we've all got to deal with. If you play good enough, you shouldn't have a problem."
Koepka won last year at Shinnecock Hills in New York with a 1-over-par total. Perhaps the moment most remember from the event is Phil Mickelson, afraid his putt at a treacherous hole location was going to roll off the green and into a bunker, chased down the ball and hit it back while it was moving. He was assessed a two-stroke penalty.
On Saturday at Shinnecock, the last 45 players to tee off failed to break par.
Tough or unfair?
"I think big picture you still had the right champions every single time. And that's what you want to do in majors, you want to separate who is playing the best from who's not," said Jordan Spieth, who won the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, when dead fescue grass on the greens was a significant storyline.
"And I don't see how that's not had the right result in any of the previous years, even though certainly everything could have gone a hundred percent perfectly and it didn't, necessarily."
The USGA has narrowed the fairways slightly from the typical setup at Pebble Beach, and Englishman Justin Rose said, "The rough seems penal but not outrageous."
"I think there's going to be some very unlucky lies around the greens and the tops of the bunkers the way they've let the fescue, or whatever that grass is around the tops of the bunkers, grow," he added.
"It's quite a coarse grass as well. Any ball that lands just over the top of a bunker and lands in that longer grass, I think the ball is going to stick in there and you're going to have some tough lies. And maybe you'll see guys not move a ball possibly from the tops of those bunkers. That's probably the most penal area of the golf course, I think."
It's all fine by Koepka.
"I just view it as this is what it is this week, and I've got to deal with it and go," he said. "In my mind it doesn't equate to a bad setup or good setup."