Masters 2019: Brandel Chamblee calls Brooks Koepka’s weight loss “the most reckless self sabotage that I have ever seen of an athlete in his prime”
Last month at the Players Championship, Golf Channel's Ryan Lavner was the first to report that Brooks Koepka didn't exactly look or feel like his old self. Koepka, who had just won a pair of majors over the summer to bring his career tally to three, had intentionally lost 24 pounds since November, but he wouldn't say why, instead offering a "you'll see" to Lavner, as if we'd all soon find out.
We've still yet to find out why Koepka made the sudden change, a move that could understandably be seen as an odd one with Koepka in the prime of his career. Not to mention that he seemed like he was in pretty great shape already, so why would he need to make such a drastic switch? There was speculation that it could be for ESPN's Body Issue, or something similar, but that was never confirmed. "I just want to be able to eat again," said Koepka, who had lost over 10 yards off the tee in his lighter phase.
During his Tuesday Masters press conference, the two-time U.S. Open winner changed his tune from the weight loss being "intentional," to him just having "a bunch of blood work and trying to figure out what was going on."
"The diet I was on was probably not the best. I was like 1,800 calories a day," said Koepka. "I mean, you're not going to be in the best physical shape at that point. You look at somebody like Michael Phelps or somebody like that eating 6,000 or 7,000 calories by lunch time. But I wanted to do it and try to lose some weight, and maybe went about it a little too aggressively for just a long period of time and the intensity of what I was doing."
Even with these comments, it's still not clear why he dropped the weight. This was a player coming off a career year that appeared to be in better shape than anyone on tour and he decided to completely change his entire body.
Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee is as perplexed by Koepka's decision as anyone, and he dropped one of his usual, scorching-hot takes about it on Tuesday night at Augusta National. Here's what Chamblee had to say when the Koepka topic came up on Golf Channel's "Live From The Masters":
"The three times he's played here he's finished 33rd, 21st and 11th, that's a pretty darn good trend," said Chamblee, before setting off every fire alarm on the property. "We know why he didn't play last year, we know what he did at the end of last year, you can extrapolate what he did at the end of last year and what he was likely to do here at Augusta National if everything were the same. Now, 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.
"I get why they ask Gary Player to do that shoot. I get why they ask Greg Norman to do that shoot. But to do something that takes you out of your game, to change your game completely, it’s never worked out very well. I think he’d be at the top of everybody’s list to win at Augusta National had he not done this and had his game not declined."
Everybody wants to bring their A game for Masters week, and, apparently, that's not limited to those actually competing in the event. Chamblee always brings the heat, but he clearly knows it's a major championship week with this one. Call it a hot take all you want (he is speculating about the "vanity shoot" part), but there is a hint of truth to what he said. We'll see if Koepka catches wind of it and uses it as fuel as he often likes to do starting on Thursday.