Former U.S. team Captain Paul Azinger reckons if Brooks Koepka can’t buy into the unique atmosphere of the Ryder Cup, then maybe he shouldn’t be there at all.
‘Zinger’ was speaking following a quite incredible Golf Digest US interview with Koepka where the four-time Major winner admitted that he found the biennial event “a bit odd” compared to the individuality of week to week tour life.
“You go from an individual sport all the time to a team sport one week a year. It’s so far from my normal routine. I can barely see my (personal) team. It’s hard to even go to the gym,” Koepka lamented.
“It’s more demanding than I’m used to, and there’s a lot of emotion there, so by Sunday, you’re just dead,” he continued, adding, that the team sports thing is “maybe not in my DNA”.
As things stand, Koepka remains an injury doubt for Captain Steve Stricker’s U.S. team, which might be no harm given he wasn’t exactly putting his hand up as a foursomes partner with these startling comments:
“There are times where I’m like, I won my match. I did my job. What do you want from me? I know how to take responsibility for the shots I hit every week. Now, somebody else hit a bad shot and left me in a bad spot, and I know this hole is a loss.”
Azinger, who led America to victory in 2008 agreed that if Brooks doesn’t want to be there, then maybe he just shouldn’t be:
“After reading that, I’m not sure Brooks loves the Ryder Cup that much and if he doesn’t love it, he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup,” said Azinger.
“Not everyone embraces it, but if you aren’t sold on it then I think Brooks should consider whether or not he really wants to be there.”
And if that wasn’t enough, Azinger also feels Brooks’ ongoing tiff with teammate Bryson DeChambeau might be another reason an injury withdrawal could help, rather than hinder, Team USA.
“When you add the Bryson dynamic, that would make the decision easier for (Koepka),” he said. “Brooks is one of the most honest, candid guys and if he is blatantly honest with himself and if he doesn’t want to be there, he should come out and say it.”
The Ryder Cup will be played from September 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.