You may have noticed the pictures of a nude Brooks Koepka doing the rounds as ESPN’s annual point-gawp-and-giggle publication, The Body issue, was unveiled to great ceremony the other day.

Looking resplendent in the scuddy, Koepka’s manly prowess is captured in poses of athletic endeavour while some canny positioning of a bent leg here or a hand there spares the reader a keek at the, ahem, shortest club in the bag. You, too, can have a body like mine? Well, not quite but Rory ­McIlroy is keen to adopt a few other Koepka attributes and features.

Having romped to a magical four-shot win in the Tour Championship at East Lake on Sunday, with a classy display of poise and pomp that earned him a jaw-dropping $15 million, ­McIlroy finished the PGA Tour season with a show-stopping performance.


Koepka may be something of a major machine – he’s won four of the last 10 he has contested – but ­McIlroy, without a major win of his own in five years, is determined to get a slice of the action too and turn the consistency he has shown in 2019 into the clinical efficiency demonstrated by Koepka’s displays in golf’s biggest events.

McIlroy and Koepka played in the final group of the WGC-Memphis recently but McIlroy was outgunned in the shoot-out as his rival surged to victory with a 65.

On Sunday, McIlroy got a degree of revenge as he powered to the prize and the plaudits while grouped with Koepka again.

“I think one of the biggest things is sometimes I try to treat Sundays the same as a Thursday or Friday, and they’re not,” McIlroy said. “I go into them maybe a little too relaxed. It’s not the same, and it’s about trying to get yourself in the right mindset.

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“And Brooks went out there in Memphis and shot 65 and just ­basically dominated the tournament, dominated me. And I realised if I want to become the dominant player in the world again, I need to be more like that.

“That’s the ultimate compliment I can give Brooks. I wanted to be a little bit more like him (on Sunday).”

Koepka himself was equally as complimentary about McIlroy. It’s a good job Koepka was fully-clothed during this period of appreciation and admiration as the hearty mutual back-slapping would have stung like a Chinese burn.

“I’ve played a lot with him ­(McIlroy) over the last couple weeks and, like I’ve said multiple times, he’s the most fun to watch when he’s playing well,” said Koepka of McIlroy’s enchanting flair when he’s playing with freedom and gusto. “He hits it so good, he putts it really well and when he’s on, man, he’s tough to beat.”

The vast nature of the first prize on offer at East Lake may have offended some onlookers but McIlroy is certainly not driven by cash.

“I didn’t think about it once,” he insisted of the biggest pay day in

golf’s history. I was thinking about winning this tournament, winning the stroke average, getting back to second in the world.

“All those things are way more important to me. I realise I’m in a very privileged position that I can say that but at this stage in my career they are way more important to me.”

And as for those majors? Well, he continues to adopt a philosophical approach, particularly after that nightmare 79 in the first round of The Open at Portrush which led to a deflating early exit.

“They are the biggest tournaments in the world and you want to win them but at the same time there are four chances a year,” he said.

“It’s not as if you don’t win them then there is nothing left to play for. It [success] is not guaranteed, there’s a law of averages.”