Pro golfer Brooks Koepka is striking back at critics of his nude photo shoot for ESPN Magazine’s Body issue.
Koepka took aim at those who “talk crap” about him when they “don’t have the balls” to lose weight the way he did.
“It’s one of those things where all these people that talk crap and whatever on social media, they don’t have the balls to do it, and they wouldn’t look that good,” Kopeka said, according to USA Today.
Remember when Brooks Koepka lost 20-plus pounds earlier this year — the “reckless self-sabotage”? It was for this, as suspected: pic.twitter.com/Wr9Zc6pK4q
— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) August 22, 2019
The PGA pro said he is proud of his photos and the naysayers won’t change his mind.
“It was something I enjoyed,” Koepka said. “I was looking forward to it for months. It’s something I definitely don’t regret doing. It’s been enjoyable to see the pictures over the last couple of months and see, I guess, all the hard work I put into it and see the results.”
Koepka went from 210 pounds to about 187 for the in-the-buff photo shoot. But he soon found critics when he posted one of the photos to his Instagram account.
One critic the four-time major tournament winner faced was Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee who insisted that Kopeka hurt his play by distracting himself over the extreme weight loss and the photoshoot.
“For him to change his body and his body chemistry for vanity reasons for a vanity shoot is the most reckless self-sabotage that I have ever seen of an athlete in his prime. … But to do something that takes you out of your game, to change your game completely,” Chamblee said. “To see someone whose body has changed drastically, it’s never worked out very well. It’s led to deterioration.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 22, 2019
Indeed, right around the time that he was losing weight for the ESPN photo shoot, Kopeka missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and fell far back in the pack at both the Players Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Koepka has claimed he felt ill during those matches and a blood test found his testosterone had decreased at the time. He did not blame the blood results for his lousy playing, but he also did not blame the weight loss.
“That’s not an excuse. I’ve lost a bunch of weight before, and I’ve gained a bunch of weight. Phil (Mickelson’s) done it, and everybody’s happy that Phil did it, and then I did it, and I get criticized,” Koepka carped. “I don’t know what the deal is. I mean, all I’m concerned about is making myself happy. I’m going to do what I want to do. I think everybody out here knows that by now. I’m going to do it my way and enjoy the ride.”
Koepka also insisted that he was not embarrassed by all the bystanders that were on the course the day he posed for his photos.
“There were people playing the golf course, so they saw,” Koepka said. “I’m pretty sure everybody that was at the golf course saw me that day, but whatever.”
Regardless, Kopeka says he is thoroughly unashamed of the whole incident.
Asked if he was embarrassed that so many saw him walking around nude that day, Kopeka said, “I don’t think so. I never really thought about it,” he said. “It was fun. I enjoyed it. I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.”
Remember when Brooks Koepka lost 24 pounds in less than five months and wouldn’t tell anybody why?
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) August 22, 2019
— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) August 23, 2019
Damn, these Brooks Koepka 'Body Issue' photos are dramatic. pic.twitter.com/25a86yrQyL
— The Loop (@GoToTheLoop) August 22, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.