The Open Championship just revealed tee times for the first two rounds and one catches the eye for its potential to be tense. Brooks Koepka, who has been vocal in his displeasure for slow play, is paired with Patrick Cantlay, who has has been known to take his sweet time doing anything out on the course. Hideki Matsuyama, a bit leisurely out on the greens and fairways himself, rounds out the group.
Koepka faded during the Masters when he was in the final pairing with Jon Rahm. Those two were following Viktor Hovland and Cantlay. The slowness was as obvious as the tense vibe.
“Yeah, the group in front of us was brutally slow," Koepka said afterward. "Jon went to the bathroom like seven times during the round, and we were still waiting.”
Before the PGA Championship, which he'd ultimately win, he offered solutions for what's become a bit of a problem.
“I never was fined for anything, so I’m all right,” Koepka said. “Yeah, there’s a lot of guys out here that take their time. I think it is a problem. Technically in the rule book it says you have 40 seconds to hit your shot. I think that’s what it is. If you are taking over, technically you’re breaking the rules, right? So, I don’t know.”
It will all probably prove to be nothing. Brooks overcomes things and locks in. But body language enthusiasts will be parsing every single moment for potential conflict. Maybe the both play really well and find themselves playing together on Sunday with a major on the line. No one does storylines like golf.