Watch Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka discuss Rory McIlroy ahead of 2023 Masters

Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed discussed Rory McIlroy and LIV Golf-PGA Tour animosity before the 2023 Masters. 

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Thu, 30 Mar 2023
Watch Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka discuss Rory McIlroy ahead of 2023 Masters

Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson say they have no problem with Rory McIlroy, insisting they don't believe there will be any animosity between the LIV Golf players and PGA Tour pros at the forthcoming 2023 Masters

Koepka, Watson and Patrick Reed addressed the media on 29 March before LIV Golf Orlando. 

It's their last stop before the first major of the year. It's always an eagerly anticipated event but the added spice of the warring tours has added another dynamic. 

Related: What are the chances for LIV players at Augusta?

Though as far as Koepka and Watson can see, it's only awkward as the media 'keep pushing it' and we are 'past' the awkward dynamic. 

Koepka, in particular, recently saw McIlroy in Jupiter, Florida, and chatted with the Northern Irishman for 30 minutes. 

Watson claimed ever since LIV Golf's first event last June, McIlroy has just been 'protecting his entity' and 'business', adding: "Which is fine." 

McIlroy memorably called out Koepka when he bolted from the PGA Tour, describing the four-time major champ as 'duplicitous'. 

Koepka said of McIlroy:

"But I also don't think that means anything personal with any of us. I've had relationships with them for -- I've known J.T. since maybe 13, 14 years old maybe. Rory for, I don't know, the last 10 years. It's not anything we don't see each other normally on a normal basis."

Related: Koepka's coach says Full Swing 'did him no favours'

When was the last time he saw him?

"Down in Jupiter, we see each other -- I was just with Rory and J.T. yesterday, and I think Keegan [Bradley] was there. We see each other quite a bit. I mean, there's a lot of conversations. I was talking with Rory for probably about 30 minutes just about the ball and all the other stuff that's going on. No one is angry at anybody from what I've seen."

Said Watson:

"I'm going to be honest, man. It's only awkward in the media. I've talked to people that are going to be there. I'm going to sign up with Jason Day and Cam Young in the par-3. Some guys have already asked me to play some practice rounds.
"Media is the only one that is pushing it. I have nothing against anybody. If you change jobs, I'm not mad at you. If you start reporting for somebody else, hey, man, it's a better decision for you and your family. Have at it."

Watch here:

"I don't agree with it" 

Koepka and Watson were also asked about the plans to rollback the golf ball for elite competition from 2026. 

McIlroy was for the idea, which contrasted from most of his peers

Koepka said: 

"I'm not a huge fan of it, but I could see we were kind of talking about how I think it could distance -- the better players are just going to come to the top, and it could be a bigger gap between the top guys and the rest of the field.
"I don't know, I'm not exactly for it, and he kind of is, so it was just an interesting -- it was just interesting to hear the other side of it."

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Watson added:

"I don't agree with it, but what he -- I never thought about that, but that makes sense. The top players are going to stick out more when they limit things. It's going to stick out more, the top players, the people that have the short game, the people that have the ability to hit shots. It's going to stick out more. The best players are going to be that far ahead."

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