The week in golf: Jim Furyk admits to fallout between Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka

Ben Coley reflects on the week in golf
Ben Coley reflects on the week in golf

Ben Coley looks at this week's major golf talking points, including further fallout from the Ryder Cup and victory for Lucas Bjerregaard.

The Ryder Cup fallout

Having been accused this week of being 'obsessed with the Ryder Cup', a crime for which I am guilty, I don't want to extend the fallout longer than is necessary. However, we start with a nod to Telegraph journalist James Corrigan for first scooping a big story, one about a falling out, and then standing by it when those involved denied all knowledge.

Corrigan revealed that Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson had to be separated having almost come to blows when invited into the European team room in the aftermath of Europe's convincing victory in Paris. Koepka's agent denied the incident had occurred while Johnson, who has enough going on, offered no comment.

This week, however, US captain Jim Furyk confirmed that there was truth in the story and, in the absence of footage, that leaves only the intensity and duration of the squabble up for debate.

"Whatever altercation started, or what happened, it was very brief," Furyk told Golf Channel. "It was very short. Neither one of them really took anything out of it. They're like brothers. Brothers may argue, brothers get into it. But they're as close as they've ever been, and it really had no effect on either one of them."

These days, journalists who break stories based on unnamed sources are customarily labelled liars, told to get another job, asked why they're seeking attention and much worse. In part that's because those higher up the chain have abused the trust titles like The Telegraph had previously earned and that's why the next time Corrigan published a story others do not have, he'll probably be called a liar once more.

Koepka isn't to blame for this wider issue but, having praised him last week for his handling of that awful incident involving an injured spectator in Paris, it's a shame he wasn't able to conjure equal honesty about whatever happened with Johnson.

Instead, he and DJ sought to underline their love for one another in possibly the single worst piece of #content since the cellar door opened and the dark depths of the internet were revealed. Meanwhile, a good journalist gets no apology and little credit for helping paint a fuller picture of what happened in Paris almost a fortnight ago.

Inspired stuff

Last week, Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard defied a poor record in the event to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after a thrilling final round at St Andrews. Huge credit to organisers for having the foresight to switch to a rare shotgun start on Sunday which only served to intensify the drama.

Victory for Bjerregaard was his second on the European Tour, and this awesome talent looks like he's ready to establish himself as one of the stars of the circuit. Having once shot 89 from the final group of the Alfred Dunhill Championship - played in South Africa and not to be confused with this event - he's now taken two good chances and was a little unfortunate not to win in Switzerland last month as well.

Clearly, the chief factor in this second title was quality play in familiar conditions as he became yet another Scandinavian to win an event in the UK, following his close friend Thorbjorn Olesen in blasting his way to this title thanks to a brilliant long-game.

Powerful, aggressive players like Olesen and Bjerregaard can be particularly dangerous in this unique event if coping with what were cold, breezy conditions throughout the week and that's exactly what the latter did.

Lucas Bjerregaard celebrates winning the Dunhill Links at St Andrews
Lucas Bjerregaard celebrates winning the Dunhill Links at St Andrews

But we should also consider what Bjerregaard was doing in the days prior to the Dunhill Links when trying to explain his success and more specifically, where he was eight days before holing the winning putt.

"I've never been to The Ryder Cup before, but Thomas (Bjorn) was kind enough to invite me down on Saturday, so I went," Bjerregaard said. "He showed me a little bit around. Obviously a busy week for him, but saw the team room and the locker room and I would lie if I said I wasn't inspired going home from there."

None of this is to suggest that we all missed a trick by not backing him - not everything here is about a bet. But it should give us a greater understanding of the myriad factors which can and do influence performance, way beyond the tangibles pored over in advance of every tournament like form and season-long statistics.

For those interested, Adrian Otaegui, Jorge Campillo and Paul Dunne were also there in Paris along with Bjerregaard. Bernd Wiesberger was keen to stress his presence, too, but the Austrian remains sidelined by injury while Eddie Pepperell had intended to take up his invite only to be struck down with illness, a fact he confirmed in that charmingly caustic way of his.

Knock me down with a feather!

When you've been down to 1959th in the world, it is a long, long way back to 12th - the highest position former Masters champion Trevor Immelman has occupied before - in fact it's close to impossible to complete the journey.

However, Immelman has shown signs of the old sparkle recently, first by finishing third in the Scottish Open, then with four solid rounds at the Dunhill, and more recently with an encouraging start to the British Masters where he carded a three-under-par 69 under testing conditions.

Immelman, who has joined brother Mark in spending time as a TV analyst, might yet have a final flourish in him and, at 38, certainly isn't beyond hope should he wish to continue taking advantage of invites wherever he can. Hopefully he keeps building confidence and perhaps turns up in Hong Kong, where he was seventh in 2007 and where an old, firm, fast golf course rewards experience, with half a chance to win.

Also in the news...

Reports have emerged to suggest that the Tiger Woods v Phil Mickelson showdown in Las Vegas, which has me roughly as excited as a heavily tranquilised sloth, will take place in front of a small group of VIPs and sponsors rather than the paying public.

This already grotesque affair, being played on a golf course owned by MGM Resorts International, will be available to watch on pay-per-view television, but we're now at the stage where I would have to be paid to watch it. That appears an unlikely scenario.

Elsewhere, Retief Goosen is among those inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Turns out there is a topic I find less interesting than 'The Match'.

This...

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