Koepka leads Tour, blasts nude critics

Brooks Koepka leads the Tour Championship after two rounds and says negative online comments about his naked photoshoot are not a distraction.

24-Aug-2019 By Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press
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Tour Championship leader Brooks Koepka believes golfers are held to an unfair standard of behaviour after negative online reactions to his nude photoshoot for ESPN's The Body Issue shoot continue.

When Koepka arrived at East Lake Golf Club before a weather-interrupted second round, he found printed copies of his naked pose stuck on his car parking space by fellow players pranking him in jest.

"There will be revenge," joked Koepka, whose 67 gave him a 13-under-par total and a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy (67) and Justin Thomas (68).

But that was not what bothered the big-hitting world No.1.

What puzzles Koepka is that many online reactions to his posing nude for The Body Issue suggest legendary golfers such as 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus and the late Arnold Palmer would never have agreed to the shoot.

Koepka posted the first image of himself naked on social media on Wednesday night, promoting the September release of the magazine which features athletes in nude and semi-nude photographs.

"I've gotten a lot of people on Twitter and Instagram (asking), 'How in the world could you do this? You never see Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus and guys like that doing that.'

"It blows my mind; golf is the only sport where you're compared to guys from other generations and how they acted, not where they are on the golf course. Golf is pretty weird that way.

"If they had social media back then, I think it would be a lot different for them, too.

"I couldn't care less what people say online. If you've got people hating you, you're doing something right."

The new-look Tour Championship format saw players start the tournament with adjusted scores based on their season-long FedEx Cup rank.

Now the event is underway, four-time major winner McIlroy is confident of reeling in Koepka over the weekend.

"I played well the last two days at seven-under-par (66, 67)," McIlroy said.

"If we were all starting at even par, I think that would be tied for the lead right now with (England's) Paul Casey; I just need to keep doing what I'm doing."

Meanwhile, the Australian contingent sits well behind after two rounds.

Adam Scott's even-par 70 left him at five-under, while countryman Marc Leishman's 73 dropped him to three-over the card.


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