U.S. Open 2019: Playing partner explains why pairing with Brooks Koepka is so intimidating

June 16, 2019

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Matt Wallace is an emerging star in the game of golf. He won three times on the European Tour last season and finished T-3 in his last major.

But apparently, he still gets intimidated playing with Brooks Koepka. And frankly, can you blame him?

Wallace never really got it going on Saturday. A double and two bogeys on his front nine put him three over heading to his back nine. But he fought back with a birdie on 14 and closed with an eagle on 18.

Matt Wallace explained that there's just something different about playing with Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open.
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Speaking about of the day afterwards, Matt talked about his round but kept coming back to one topic: How difficult it was playing with Brooks Koepka.

“Trying to play with Brooks — I never played with Brooks before. I held myself together really well today is and playing with Brooks who was playing really well. Yeah, it was tough.”

At one point, he mentioned wanted to “impress” the back-to-back U.S. Open champ…

“I wanted to impress and play well with Brooks.”

So, finally, I asked him if he found Brooks “intimidating.”

“He is when he hits it a hundred yards past you. That one on 10 is just crazy. He took it on that lower right side and I managed to keep up with him on 14. So I was happy with that. And then knocked a 3-iron past him — I think he had a 4-iron there, so be it. No, he’s a strong player. I’ve played with plenty of them. But he’s a really strong player. Best player in the world at the moment.”

It’s really interesting interesting from Matt Wallace, and a glimpse into the mind of what Tour players think of Brooks. It’s similar to how players used to talk about Tiger Woods, and it’s the sort of thing that gives him an advantage before he gets to the tee. The only question is whether the Brooks effect will land him his fifth major on Sunday.