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Sunday, October 15, 2017 by Teddy
LESS than 24 hours after the internet scolded Joe Buck for messing up the name of US Open champion Brooks Koepka’s girlfriend, the FOX commentator explained the gaffe during a spot on The Dan Patrick Show.
“I wasn’t up on that information,” Buck began. “I got handed a card by a buddy, who was phenomenal all week, and it had old info on it and you know, we got it right before we got off the air, but that’s not the world we live in these days. You have to do the apology tour, forgetting the week-old girlfriend, so sorry, world.”
After Koepka wrapped up the Open with his first major title win, his lady love, actor Jena Sims, congratulated him with a sweet smooch.
Buck chimed in, identifying the striking brunette as Koepka’s former flame, soccer starlet Becky Edwards. Analyst Brad Faxon ultimately corrected him.
“Joe, that’s actually his new girlfriend, that’s Jena Sims,” Faxon said.
Buck later said, “It was all a mess,” but admitted he’s done “way worse” from the broadcasting booth, referencing a past encounter with former professional baseballer Tony Womack and a special lady in his life.
“I asked Tony Womack at the end of a Division Series game, when he was hugging a woman down on the field and I was interviewing him from the booth,” Buck said. “Truth be told, I couldn’t really see, but we had just been talking about how he lost his dad on Father’s Day that year. And he’s hugging this woman, and I said, ‘Hey, Tony, I can’t imagine how that feels. Who are you hugging down there, is that your mum?’ And then the needle came off the record and he goes, ‘No, that’s my wife.’
“This is the week-old girlfriend. I think the world will continue to spin, but I just confused somebody’s wife for the guy’s mother,” he continued. “I actually sent her flowers and went down and apologised.”
Buck said he intends to reach out to Koepka given that the broadcaster didn’t stick around for any closing ceremonies.
“I got the hell out of Wisconsin,” Buck said. “I just put the pedal down and said, ‘See you.’”
As for the on-air slip, Buck noted mishaps are all a part of the game.
“I’m personally doing seven-and-a-half hours of live TV a day, and there are going to be mistakes all over the place. And that’s the nature of it,” he explained. “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re boring.”
The US Open victory gives Kopeka a new lease on his golfing career, after the star wanted to give the sport away only a short time ago, frustrated with life on the circuit.
‘I just called my manager and told him that I didn’t even want to play,’ he recalled.
‘I was just tired of golf and tired of the travelling. I just wanted to go home.’
Koekpa has cause to be eternally grateful his manager, Blake Smith, talked him round. He went out and won the next day to earn a battling promotion to the European Tour, from where he has never looked back.
A close friend of Dustin Johnson, the Floridian possesses the same natural athleticism and laid-back demeanour and came into the US Open with a renewed focus.
‘I know I played well in the Ryder Cup last year and had won a few times around the world but I just felt like I was an underachiever,’ he admitted.
‘I couldn’t stand the fact I’d only won once on the PGA Tour. I’ve worked so hard over the past six months to try to put that right. I just couldn’t get my mind to free up. But I’m past that now.’
Like Johnson, there’s never been any questions regarding Koepka’s talent.
Now he’s in the right frame of mind, it would surprise no one if he went on a similar run to the world No 1 after he broke through at the US Open last year.
‘I set my sights pretty high and I’m hoping this will be the first of many majors,’ said Koepka, who has now broken into the coveted world top 10.
— with AAP
This story originally appeared on The NY Post and has been republished with permission.