Brooks Koepka explains golfing with Donald Trump: 'I respect the office, I don't care who it is'

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Brooks Koepka explained why he took the opportunity to play a round with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Brooks Koepka explained why he took the opportunity to play a round with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

President Donald Trump is a big fan of Brooks Koepka.

It appears the feeling is mutual.

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GQ published a profile on Koepka on Tuesday. In it, the four-time major champion talked about a recent round of golf with Trump while expressing dismay as to why other athletes shun the idea of associating with the president.

Koepka, his father and his brother played a round with Trump over the holidays at Trump’s course in West Palm Beach, Florida.

‘I don’t care what your political beliefs are’

“I mean, we had a blast,” Koepka told GQ. “It was nice to have my family there, my dad, my brother. Anytime it’s with a president, it’s pretty cool. I don’t care what your political beliefs are. It’s the president of the United States. It’s an honor that he even wanted to play with me.”

While Koepka joins the ranks of prominent golfers who have hit the links with Trump including Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy and John Daly, athletes from other sports — primarily the NBA and NFL — have bristled at the idea of being associated with a president whose views and politics regarding race and gender relations they find abhorrent.

Koepka doesn’t understand why athletes like Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Chris Long would decline an invitation to the White House.

‘It’s a respect thing’

“I respect the office. I don’t care who it is,” Koepka said. “Still probably the most powerful man in the entire world. It’s a respect thing. That’s what I don’t understand about the teams that don’t go to the White House.

“It’s still ... like, if I see an older man, it’s ‘Yes, sir’ or ‘mister.’ It wouldn’t be like, ‘Hey, Jack, what’s up?’ It’s like, ‘Hey, Mr. Nicklaus, how are you?’ Out of respect. Doesn’t matter who it is.”  

Koepka on Obama

Koepka told GQ that he’d met four of the five living presidents and played a round with President Barack Obama when he was in office. He pointed out that it was a thrill for him, even if he didn’t agree with Obama’s policies.

“I don't care what anybody says—that was the coolest thing,” Koepka told GQ of golfing with Obama. “Not to get into politics — like, I don't agree with everything that Obama did during his presidency — but to this day, I think that it was the coolest thing ever.

“Top five highlights of my life so far, that was one of them. Meeting him as a sitting U.S. president.”

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