Brandel Chamblee must have placed a bet on Brooks Koepka to win The Masters because the Golf Channel analyst is pushing all the right buttons to get the three-time major champion fired up this week at Augusta National.
Just a few days after calling Koepka’s decision to lose 25 pounds for an ESPN The Magazine “Body Issue” shoot “the most reckless self-sabotage that I have ever seen of an athlete in his prime,” Chamblee doubled down.
Speaking after Koepka shot a 6-under par 66 to lead the first round of the Masters, Chamblee questioned Koepka’s toughness. The comment was not well received on set at “Live From the Masters” as host Rich Lerner openly questioned the analyst on air while his fellow panel members adamantly disagreed.
Unsurprisingly, Koepka and his team, who have famously held onto slights in the past and morphed them into motivation, used Chamblee’s words as motivation as he ground out a 1-under par second round to share a piece of the 36-hole lead.
I’m dead. ☠️☠️☠️
The smirk when he heard “toughness.” The shot at Brandel. The silence back in the studio. pic.twitter.com/6nZjx32HtT
— Chris Chaney (@Wrong_Fairway) April 13, 2019
“I know some people don’t think I’m mentally tough, or tough in general, but I think I am,” Koepka told reporters after his second round, careful not to mention Chamblee by name. “I think I’ve proven that with three trophies. I feel like no matter how things are going, whether they are going really well or really poorly out there, I can grind it out, and especially during a major.”
Koepka’s second round featured a little bit of everything: 10 pars, five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey. Yet, at the end of the day, he still finds his name atop the leaderboard at the year’s first major championship.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 12, 2019
Koepka will tee off in the second-to-last group on Saturday alongside fellow 36-hole co-leader Adam Scott at 2:35 p.m. ET.