Brooks Koepka reached the pinnacle of his golfing career on Sunday evening at Erin Hills Golf Club in Wisconsin when he posted a final round 67 to finish 16-under and win the 2017 U.S. Open by four strokes for his first career major win. For the 27-year-old out of Florida State, it was his greatest moment in golf and announced his arrival on the scene as one of the game’s top players.
As he walked off the 18th green with the victory sealed — although one group remained on the course — he was greeted by his girlfriend Jena Sims with a hug and a kiss. This is traditionally the time when the TV research crew gets to flex their muscles and offer some insight into the family dynamic of the winning golfer, relayed through the lead announcer.
That’s usually what happens, anyways. On Fox’s broadcast, however, Joe Buck matter of factly identified Sims as Koepka’s ex-girlfriend, Becky Edwards, noting her status as a former soccer player at Florida State. Brad Faxon ended up fixing Buck’s mistake about 15 seconds later in one of the all-time awkward TV correction moments.
“Joe, that’s actually his new girlfriend, Jena Sims,” is just tremendous stuff.
On the short list of people you feel bad for in this situation, Sims is first — she got misidentified on national television — then Koepka for probably having to deal with that question from someone, and then there’s Buck, who is getting clowned for this when it’s likely someone else on the Fox research staff that pulled the name and passed it along to him.
Buck is a pro, but golf is new to him. The girlfriend or wife walk-off kiss is something he’s still got to get used to, and no matter how hard he tries he’ll never reach the level of Jim Nantz, who is legendary for his family anecdotes on 18. Nantz’s CBS broadcast partner joked that not only would Nantz never screw up the girlfriend’s name, but he’d know exactly where they went on their first date.
Luckily, this wasn’t a situation where Buck was doing a trophy presentation and misidentified her before asking a question or anything, but it still provided for an embarrassing moment and a wonderfully awkward correction. I would’ve loved to have been in the booth when that happened to hear what Buck said after that to the research crew, because I’m sure it wasn’t pretty.