Brooks Koepka’s response to a top 10 Masters finish behind DJ? ‘Whoo, seventh.’

A top-10 finish and four straight rounds of 70 or less at Augusta National Golf Club would be enough to make most PGA Tour players ecstatic.

But when that player is Brooks Koepka —whose performance level in major tournaments is only matched by his bravado — that’s simply not good enough.

And especially when that finish was well behind Dustin Johnson, the player he was once close with but threw a jab at before the final round of the PGA Championship.

“Yeah, I’m not really excited right now. Whoo, seventh,” Koepka said after finishing T-7. “I don’t know what else to say to that. I’m not too happy. Yeah, I mean, it’s disappointing.”

While his former confidante Johnson was setting a new bar with a 20-under par finish and claimed his first green jacket, Koepka never seemed to clear himself from the morning fog that delayed Sunday’s start.

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Koepka was still on the fringes of striking distance at Augusta on Sunday, he entered the day at 8 under, eight shots behind Johnson, but the two-time U.S. Open and two-time PGA Championship winner would have needed a huge day to get back into contention once Johnson started strong.

He made birdie on No. 7, holing out a chip, but then gave the stroke back on the No. 11 when he tried to bump a short shot that got caught in the fringe.

He made a pair of birdies on the back nine, but they came on the par 5s and the effort on No. 13 was a missed opportunity — Koepka missed a short eagle putt.

Brooks Koepka waits for his shot on the 11th hole during the final round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National GC. Photo by Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The lack of on-course electricity might have been a reason for his play — Koepka has often saved his best efforts for the loudest and most intense stages.

“Yeah, even at the PGA, it’s just very dull. It’s hard to. … there’s just not that atmosphere going. Hopefully soon, we can have them back,” Koepka said.

“I mean, the no fans thing is. …  I mean, it’s becoming, I guess, the norm, but it’s still very odd at this place to see it. You kind of miss the roars. I think that’s the one thing I miss the most is just kind of the excitement, the buzz that goes around.

“Even when you’re just kind of walking around on Tuesday,  you can almost feel it in the air at this place, and I kind of miss it.”

As for witnessing Johnson make history, Koepka said he wasn’t surprised by the result, especially the way Augusta National was playing in the fall. Johnson and Koepka (and Xander Schauffele) tied for second in the 2019 Masters, a stroke behind winner Tiger Woods, but this year’s wet conditions played right into Johnson’s strengths.

“The course suited him down to the ground. He’s more of a picker of the ball. He doesn’t spin it that much with his irons. So the ball’s not going to be backing up, so he can get to a lot of the back pins a lot better,” Koepka said of DJ. “If you pick it like that, you can really, really control … you’re never going to rip it off the front of the green, where I feel like a lot of people, pretty much everybody struggled with that. Like I said, it just suited him.”

Famously, Koepka drew fire for a comment he made at the PGA Championship that was widely interpreted as dismissive of Johnson, who was leading the tournament, and of other players near the top of the leaderboard.

“A lot of the guys on the leaderboard, I don’t think have won, I guess DJ has only won one. I don’t know a lot of the other guys up there,” Koepka said.

But Koepka admitted this must have been a big moment for the South Carolina native.

“Yeah, obviously, he grew up — I mean, I’m taking a stab at it — probably an hour and a half from here, if I had to guess, maybe less. This is one you always want to win,” Koepka said of Johnson. “He’s been on a tear the last, what was it, Travelers? Did he win Travelers? Yeah, since Travelers, he’s been on a tear. Yeah, he’s been playing good. It almost feels like it’s coming, and it was this week.”

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