Rory McIlroy has hit back at Brooks Koepka following his comment about Dustin Johnson entering the final round of the PGA Championship.
Koepka, who trailed Johnson by two strokes heading into the final day at TPC Harding Park, was typically bullish about his own chances of becoming just the seventh player in the history of the game to win the same major three consecutive times.
However, it was his choice of words about Johnson having only won one major title that raised most people's eyebrows on Saturday night.
"When I've been in this position before, I've capitalised," said four-time major winner Koepka. "He [Dustin Johnson] has only won one. I'm playing good. I don't know, we'll see."
That comment did not sit well with McIlroy, and the Northern Irishman leaped to the defence of 21-time PGA Tour winner and former World No.1 Johnson.
"It's a very different mentality to bring to golf that I don't think a lot of golfers have," said McIlroy of Koepka's comments.
"I was watching the golf last night and heard the interview and was just sort of taken aback a little bit by what he said and whether he was trying to play mind games or not.
"If he was trying to play mind games, he was trying to do it to the wrong person. I don't think DJ really gives much of a concern that."
He added: "I certainly wouldn't say it. It's different... I wouldn't disrespect someone who has 21 PGA Tour wins, which is three times what Brooks has."
Koepka has recently been locked in a war of words with Bryson DeChambeau, and he even went after McIlroy back in October 2019 when saying: "I've got open road in front of me - I'm not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don't see it as a rivalry."
He added: "I've been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn't won a major since I've been on the PGA Tour."
Koepka held every chance heading into the final round of the PGA Championship but carded one of the worst rounds of the day with a dismal 74 and he slumped down the field into a tie for 29th on 3-under par.
Johnson would birdie the final hole to tie for second with Paul Casey on 11-under par, as Collin Morikawa collected his first major title in just his second career major start on 13-under par.
McIlroy closed with a 68 to finish tied 33rd on 2-under par.