Count Brooks Koepka among the PGA Tour pros not on board with being mic’d up.
The outspoken four-time major winner lived up to his reputation with a candid take on the broadcasting tool being utilized since the tour’s return from its COVID-19 hiatus.
‘Shut up and listen’
“I don’t understand why they want us to wear a mic when there’s a boom mic that stands 10 feet away from every shot that I hit,” Koepka told reporters after Thursday’s opening round of the RBC Heritage a Hilton Head. “If the announcers would just shut up and listen, you could hear every word that we’re talking about. I don’t understand what the thing is.
“Half the time the lady’s holding a boom mic, and she’s listening to everything we’re saying all the way down. If they would just shut up, they could hear everything.”
Perhaps Koepka’s F-bomb broadcast during last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge has something to do with his stance. Or maybe he just doesn’t like the idea of every word he says over the course of four rounds of golf per week being up for public consumption.
Koepka doesn’t seem the shy type about being caught dropping an F-bomb, after all.
Koepka’s not the only tour pro to have a problem being mic’d up.
Other golfers not on board
Justin Thomas explained his reasoning last week, pointing to his conversations with caddie Jimmy Johnson.
“What I talk about with Jimmy and what I talk about with the guys in my group is none of anybody else’s business, no offense,” Thomas told reporters last week. “If I want somebody to know what I say, I’ll say it in a press conference, I’ll say it in an interview or put it out on social media, whatever it is.
“But I personally am not one that would care to get mic’d out there.”
Jon Rahm also issues a pass on wearing a mic before the Charles Schwab Challenge, citing his colorful language on the course.
“Now, selfishly, because of who I am, and I know how I am on the golf course, I wouldn’t support it just because they might need a 20-, 30-second difference from live — might be a little bit delayed,” Rahm said. “And I’m not the only one. A lot of people swear or something comes up where you can hear it. I don’t think it would be the best thing to do.”
Case in point: Koepka’s F-bomb.
Golf trying to be more interesting
Broadcasters and the tour are asking players to wear microphones to liven up broadcasts that are missing the fan element because of the COVID-19 pandemic. May’s charity match featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning was a hit, thanks in large part to all four players wearing microphones.
But what works in charity matches doesn’t necessarily translate to what works when the stakes are real. At least for some players.
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