Brooks Koepka insists he doesn't have a rivalry with Rory McIlroy

Jordan Spieth watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Medinah Country Club in Medinah Ill. Spieth returns from the longest break of a calendar year

Jordan Spieth watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the BMW Championship golf tournament at Medinah Country Club in Medinah Ill. Spieth returns from the longest break of a calendar year

However, the two split head-to-head, with Koepka winning the World Golf Championship in Memphis and McIlroy winning the Tour Championship for the FedEx Cup.

He has played one event on the European Tour as a professional, the BMW PGA at Wentworth last month where he tied 11th with rounds of 69-69-70-70.

But don't call them rivals.

Despite them being number one and two in the world, Brooks Koepka says there is no rivalry between him and Rory McIlroy.

Justin Thomas shot a 9-under 63 Friday to take a two-stroke lead at the CJ Cup, putting himself in position to win his second PGA Tour event in South Korea in three years.

Just imagine how good Koepka would be if there was a rivalry that he was really invested in...

That actually is not true. That year was his best ever season, when he won the PGA Championship and claimed the world no.1 ranking.

Koepka wasn't anxious about losing to McIlroy, though.

Bizarrely, given that we are in October 2019, the 2020 golf season is now underway and Koepka is seeking to defend one of his pots from last season, the CJ Cup.

After a 66 on Thursday, Jason Day bogeyed four of his last six holes Friday for a 73 and was eight strokes behind. Koepka has since become the most dominant golfer in the world, winning four major titles, including strong finishes (tied for fourth or better) in each major of 2019. McIlroy won the Players Championship, Canadian Open and Tour Championship.

The swing concludes at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which has seen its prize fund beefed up to $10.25 million, and the tournaments are a chance to rack up Fedex Cup points early in the season.

US Open champion Woodland is looking to nail down his spot having been runner-up here previous year, while former number one Spieth and 2018 Masters champion Reed need a return to top form to spring them into contention. "So I just don't view it as a rivalry", Koepka told AFP this week. Reigning champion and World Number 1 Brooks Koepka returns to the Jeju Island course, as does 2017 victor Justin Thomas. I've got open road in front of me I'm not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don't see it as a rivalry.