McIlroy admits Koepka's rivalry comments 'did fire me up a bit'
Keyur Khamar / PGA TOUR / Getty

Instead of responding to comments from the No. 1 player in the world, Rory McIlroy has been letting his game do the talking.

"His remarks did fire me up a bit," McIlroy said of Brooks Koepka, according to Global Golf Post's Lewine Mair. "But hey, we're out here for a long time and Brooks and I get on well. There was no point in retaliating to a Koepka comment, which just might, like one of my own, have slipped out unthinkingly. We all do it."

Three weeks ago at the CJ Cup in South Korea, Koepka shut down the idea of his rivalry with McIlroy despite the latter ranking No. 2 in the world.

"I've been out here for what, five years. Rory hasn't won a major since I've been on the PGA Tour. So I just don't view it as a rivalry," Koepka said at the time.

Since then, McIlroy has won the WGC-HSBC Champions, finished in a tie for third at the Zozo Championship, and drastically narrowed the gap on Koepka in the Official World Golf Ranking.

"I'm trying to (chase down Koepka)," McIlroy told reporters after his fourth win of 2019.

This is the second time McIlroy has taken the high road instead of clapping back at Koepka. He was also asked for his thoughts on the topic during The Challenge: Japan Skins.

"What Brooks said wasn't wrong," McIlroy said in Japan. "He's been the best player in the world for the last couple of years, (won) four majors. I don't think he had to remind I haven't had one in a while. I love Brooks, he's a great guy (and) obviously super competitive like we all are."

McIlroy and Koepka have both earned four career majors. McIlroy collected all of his prior to 2015 when Koepka first started playing full time on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy admits Koepka's rivalry comments 'did fire me up a bit'
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