The chip might never leave Brooks Koepka's shoulder.
The 29-year-old has taken the golf world by the throat over the past two years, winning four of the last eight majors he's played in. (Koepka missed the 2018 Masters due to a wrist injury.)
But despite winning the last two U.S. Opens and last two PGA Championships, Koepka still doesn't feel he's getting the respect some of his peers -- Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, etc. -- receive. Prior to his win at the 2019 PGA Championship, Koepka took exception to comments made by Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee who didn't put Koepka in the same category as Tiger Woods, Johnson and McIlroy.
Koepka went out and blitzed the field at Bethpage, posting a wire-to-wire victory to claim his fourth major championship.
As the U.S. Open prepares to begin Thursday at Pebble Beach, Koepka, who is gunning to become the first person since Willie Anderson to win three straight U.S. Opens, still has a chip on his shoulder.
"I think a little -- a very little bit of it was me putting it on there," Kopeka told reporters Tuesday. "But I think a lot of it just comes from certain things. You go back -- there's a commercial ran now where I'm not even in it, and FOX put it up for a preview of the U.S. Open. So I don't know. You guys tell me. I wasn't on Notables after winning. There's a couple of things where it's just mind-boggling how -- it's like, really? Like, how do you forget that?
"But at the same time there's certain things, certain slights that come from, I guess, I don't want to say you guys, but just things like that, like how -- I mean, I would -- it doesn't make sense to me. But then there's other things where I just find -- I just tell myself I can't do it. I can't do it. And I just want to prove myself wrong."
It's almost a pre-major ritual for Kopeka to discuss a manner in which he feels disrespected. He had a chip on his shoulder prior to his 2018 U.S. Open win at Shinnecock Hills when he mentioned people at the gym noticed Johnson but not him while the two were working out.
That's apparently still an issue.
"It actually happened last week," Koepka said. "I was working out next to some guy in Canada, and he was talking about -- because we don't work out together anymore, but there was some guy that was talking about how Dustin was just in there and how cool it was.
"And I was with my trainer, Barrett, and we were just kind of laughing. I just couldn't tell what he was doing, but it was funny talking about he was working out next to Dustin and how cool it was. It was just funny. I just laughed."
As for the Kopeka-less promo, Brooks was able to, for the most part, laugh it off.
"I actually didn't see it for a long time. A bunch of people on Twitter I think tagged me in it, in the promo. And I guess were amazed that I wasn't in it. I just clicked on the link and saw it and watched it. Just kind of shocked. They've had over a year to kind of put it out. So I don't know. Somebody probably got fired over it or should (laughter)."
Koepka, who was hitting all the notes at his pre-tournament presser, also fired a barb at the host of golfers who complain about the U.S. Open conditions every year. Something Koepka isn't a fan of.
"Yeah, I mean, I guess the only reason they're complaining -- I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course," Koepka said. "So it really doesn't make a difference. It doesn't make a difference if you put it in the fairway and you hit every green, there's really no problem, is there?
"So obviously they're not doing what they're supposed to do. So they're not playing good enough. If they put it in the fairway, you shouldn't have to complain about the rough. You hit the greens and you hit it close, you shouldn't have to complain about the greens.
"I've just been never one to complain, make excuses. It doesn't matter. Nobody wants to hear anybody's excuse. I find it annoying even when I play with guys and they're dropping clubs or throwing them or complaining, like telling me how bad the golf course is or how bad this is. I don't want to hear it. I don't care. It doesn't matter to me. It's just something we've all got to deal with. If you play good enough, you shouldn't have a problem."
Koepka didn't have an issue at Erin Hills or Shinnecock, but Pebble will be a different beast, especially if the wind kicks up.