This Phil Mickelson-Brooks Koepka dagger-off at LIV Miami was definitely real and definitely unscripted
If the made-for-TV golf events have taught us anything, it's that forced, PG-13 trash talk is not the strong suit of tour pros. We don't doubt that the NC-17 stuff we don't hear on the course is great, but it's impossible to replicate in a walking-on-eggshells environment. Another reminder of the greatest idea I've ever had: there should be a paid subscription service to hear mic'd up, uncensored trash talk in professional sports.
Having said that, this little Brooks Koepka-Phil Mickelson back-and-forth at LIV Miami was so good that it made us wonder if it was scripted and/or rehearsed. In the video, you'll hear someone ask Koepka who he'd be selecting as his opponent for the quarterfinal matchups, which will take place Friday at Doral. Mickelson then interjects with a "woah, woah, woah," explaining that Koepka is allowed to pick an opponent from any seven of the teams that do not have a first-round bye. That led into Lefty's jab that he could pick Mickelson if he wanted a "rematch of the 2021 PGA." Shots fired:
Without subtitles, it's hard to make out the rest of what was said, though the "you've never been No. 1 in the world" retort was heard clear as day, to which Mickelson responded with something about Koepka not having a green jacket. Solid volley, indeed.
So solid, again, that it makes you wonder if it was practiced beforehand. The case against that is you can tell by Koepka's face after the 2021 PGA comment that it cut pretty deep. For a man who loves to give off the "I don't care" vibe, there's no doubt he cares a lot about losing and being reminded of losing.
Oh, and in case anyone cared, Koepka ended up choosing Harold Varner III as his quarterfinal opponent, while Mickelson will be taking on Open champion Cameron Smith.