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Inside Rory McIlroy’s Curious Relationship With Brooks Koepka After LIV Rebel Accused Of ‘Mind Games’ Following Northern Irishman’s Divorce

  • The two have been on the professional golf scene together for a decade.
  • The ‘mind games’ began with a social media post from the now LIV golfer
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka appear to be obvious rivals, with the divide between golf’s two greats only explained by Koepka’s social media post Tuesday of his wife in a bikini, hours after McIlroy’s divorce became known audience.

The Northern Irishman filed for divorce from his wife, Erica Stoll, on Monday, three days before the start of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky.

Minutes after the shocking breakup news broke, Koepka posted a photo of his wife, Jena Sims, wearing an animal print bikini on Instagram. McIlroy’s ex-fiancée, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, commented on the post “Hot mama” with fire emojis.

Koepka has been accused of “mind games” ahead of one of the biggest tournaments of the year, with the two men taking different paths to success.

Yet McIlroy and Koepka’s relationship is much more nuanced than that of the on-course rivals, who also have beef outside of the links.

McIlroy's divorce from Erica Stoll was announced Tuesday after seven years of marriage.

McIlroy’s divorce from Erica Stoll was announced Tuesday after seven years of marriage.

Koepka posted about his bikini-clad wife, Jena Sims, on Instagram minutes after the news broke.

Koepka posted about his bikini-clad wife, Jena Sims, on Instagram minutes after the news broke.

Although McIlroy and Koepka may be rivals, the duo has a more complex relationship

Although McIlroy and Koepka may be rivals, the duo has a more complex relationship

McIlroy remained loyal to the PGA while Koepka defected to LIV Golf with one of the first major transfers to the Saudi-backed rogue league. Both have been seeking major victories on the professional circuits for over a decade.

Still, it seems like there’s no real drama between the duo outside of their on-course battles.

“Rory is a good guy,” Koepka told Golf.com. “We had good discussions. We have a good laugh about it because everyone – everything that happens in golf, sometimes you just have to sit there and laugh. The funny thing is that we do this when no one is around.

“I think, especially in my early days, from 2012 to 2016, I obviously don’t want to say idolized, that would be a bad word. But I looked up to him a little bit,” Koepka continued.

“At the time, he was working his way through the Challenge Tour and the DP World Tour and eventually onto the PGA Tour; McIlroy established himself as a multiple major champion,” added Koepka.

McIlroy also hasn’t said anything negative about Koepka in the public eye, letting his fierce play on the PGA Tour do the talking for him – however, he has expressed his desire to get the better of him when it comes to their major counts.

“Brooks and I are tied at four majors each,” McIlroy said in the At his best series on Netflix last year. “So you don’t really want anyone to pass you by.”

Unfortunately for the Briton, that proved to be the case, with Kopeka taking his fifth victory at last year’s PGA Championship.

The two men should both be in contention for a victory at the PGA Championship this weekend in Louisville.

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