There always seems to be a story developing in the American camp going into a Ryder Cup and this year is no different.
Brooks Koepka’s comments about how “odd” and challenging he viewed the week to be were always likely to attract a lot of headlines.
And the fact that the most successful US captain of the modern era, Paul Azinger, has said that he should give his place to somebody else if his heart isn’t in it has escalated the story into a huge talking point.
You can already see what the line of questioning from the media to the American team members will be in the first couple of days at Whistling Straits a mile off.
I do agree with Azinger in principle.
If you aren’t totally committed then don’t play.
For what it’s worth, I certainly wouldn’t have put Brooks down as somebody who would struggle in that environment.
The guy I played with in a pro-am at Wentworth all those years ago was fun to be around, engaging and chatty.
He showed an interest in my sport and my career and later sent good luck messages for the Olympics, which included pics of him watching the curling, which was pretty cool!
There are people in that US camp who I’d view as potential problems when it comes to group-bonding but Brooks wouldn’t strike me as one of them.
I suspect it may well be as simple as Brooks not looking forward to sharing a team room with Bryson DeChambeau for a whole week.
And, for all that he’s playing it down, that will be a huge issue for Steve Stricker.
Players are inevitably going to take sides and that’s the last thing a captain needs when the opposition is as unified as Team Europe is sure to be.
It’s only right that I add my congratulations to the long list Emma Raducanu has received in the last week.
You know that something truly special has happened when people are struggling to come up with an equivalent breakthrough achievement.
I’ll leave it to tennis experts to put it into context for their sport but as a one-off story it takes some beating.
We are taking her HOMEEE❤️🇬🇧🏆 pic.twitter.com/L6P52UFpAm
— Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) September 12, 2021
I think it’s a good thing that the next grand slam singles-winning Brit to follow Andy Murray has been in the women’s game.
I also think it’s good that their stories have been so different.
Andy’s was a tale of perseverance and overcoming some really huge disappointments, which we all felt invested in.
Emma’s has been overnight success in comparison.
Both have had the spotlight to themselves which feels right given the decades Britain struggled to produce one world class tennis player, let alone two.
Both the GB women’s curling teams had podium finishes in last week’s competition in St Petersburg.
Given it wasn’t the smoothest trip and we were thrown quickly into action after arriving, I think it can go down as another successful event to build on the Euro Super Series at Stirling.
“We didn't get a lot of time to train as a team for this event so I'm really proud of my team for working hard for this second-place finish,” @ginaaitken on reaching final in St Petersburg.
📸©PPA/Graeme Hart#curling pic.twitter.com/rXnARmxsk2
— British Curling (@BritishCurling) September 12, 2021
We’ll be flying out to Switzerland next Thursday, which will be the first of three competitions in the space of four weeks.
That will be us before the team for the European Championships gets selected.
It’s definitely a case of so far, so good for the squad system.