Steve Stricker ‘not worried’ about Brooks Koepka, says rift with Bryson DeChambeau a ‘non-issue’ for U.S. Ryder Cup team

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — If Brooks Koepka is indifferent about the Ryder Cup, as some of his recent comments might suggest, it is not something that Steve Stricker has seen in his dealings with the golfer.

Stricker, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, said Monday during an introductory news conference at Whistling Straits that he spoke with Koepka after he was quoted in a Golf Digest story that gained considerable traction.

"I’ve talked to him about it,” Stricker said during a news conference that was conducted along with European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington . "I’ve had experiences with Brooks over many, many of these teams, and the conversations that I have had with him and what I have personally seen in the team room does not jibe up to what I was reading in those articles.

"Again, I am not worried about Brooks. He assures me he’s healthy. He assures me that he is 100 percent all-in on this team and whatever he needs to do for this team to become the winner at the end of the week. Again, I’m not worried about Brooks at all, and it’s been good talks and he’s ready to get down and start playing.”

Koepka, 31, withdrew during the third round of the Tour Championship on Sept. 4 with a left wrist injury suffered when he struck a tree root in the rough while taking a full swing.

The pain and swelling were enough for Koepka to lose some feeling in his arm, and he didn’t want to risk further injury. He missed a team practice session at Whistling Straits a week ago.

In the Golf Digest story, Koepka lamented the schedule of a Ryder Cup week. Players arrived on Monday and will practice each of the next three days leading up to Friday’s start. A four-time major winner, Koepka said it’s a difficult adjustment to go to a different routine, among other things.

"I don’t want to say it’s a bad week,” he said. "We’re just so individualized, and everybody has their routine and a different way of doing things and now it’s like, OK, we have to have a meeting at this time or go do this or go do that. I can barely see my (personal) team. It’s hard to even go to the gym. There’s no time to do that at the Ryder Cup. There’s no time to decompress.”

Stricker was a vice captain on both the 2016 and 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup teams in which Koepka went 4-3-1. He was also the U.S. Presidents Cup captain in 2017, when Koepka went 2-2 in a U.S. victory.

As for the ongoing feud between Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau , Stricker said it’s a "non-issue for me and the team. We got together a few weeks ago, the six of us (who had qualified on points) and I’ve had conversations with them both. They have assured me it’s not going to be an issue. I have no worries whatsoever.

"Will we pair them together? I don’t think so at this point […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *