Brooks Koepka is “100%” on board with whatrever needs done to win the Ryder Cup and the fued with team-mate Bryson DeChambeau is a non-issue, says captain Steve Stricker.
The four-time major champion has been involved in a lengthy spat with the big-hitting former US Open champion over most of this year. But Stricker confirmed that he’d spoken to them together and it wouldn’t be a factor in the team room at Whistling Straits.
A non-issue, but they likely won’t play together
“It’s a non issue for me and the team,” said Stricker at the opening press conference of Ryder Cup week. “We got together some weeks ago, I’ve had conversations with them both, they’ve assured me it’s not going to be an issue. I’ve no worries whatsoever.
“I had a dinner, they all showed up, we had great conversations so I’m not seeing it as an issue. They’re completely on board.”
That said, he doesn’t see the pair playing together in fourballs or foursomes, he added.
“I don’t think so at this point,” he said. “Things could change. It could always happen, but probably not.”
Stricker 🤜🤛 Harrington
The Ryder Cup is at Whistling Straits. pic.twitter.com/jioRZ1nUiv
— Ryder Cup (@rydercup) September 20, 2021
Koepka’s Golf Digest interview indicating he didn’t much like Ryder Cup week wasn’t like the player Stricker knew from previous US teams, added the captain.
“I have had experiences with Brooks in many of these teams,” he continued. “The conversations I’ve had with him and what I’ve seen in the team room don’t jive up to what I was reading.
“I’m not worried about Brooks. He assures me he’s healthy, he’s 100 per cent all in on his team and whatever he needs to do for this team to be a winner at the end of the week.”
‘We prefer this to having no fans at all’
Europe’s captain Padraig Harrington pronounced himself delighted with the European team’s preparations after they arrived in Wisconsin.
Even playing with very few Europeans fans because of Covid restrictions on travel was not going to trouble his team, he suggested.
“40,000 US fans and having no Europeans, we prefer that to having no fans at all,” he said.
“We want the noise, the excitement, the buzz of it all. Yes, the players will have to deal with it and have to embrace it.
“But we wouldn’t want the alternative. We wouldn’t want no fans. It’s not like we haven’t seen it before and it is only golf. We’re pretty safe within the ropes.”
Tiger Woods won’t be coming
Stricker added that it was unlikely that Tiger Woods would be joining the team in Wisconsin.
“He’s been in my ear a lot, I call him regularly,” said the US captain. “He’s part of our team, part of what we do and been in so many of these teams so we bounce ideas off him.
“But he probably won’t be here. It’s not a good time for him to be here physically because of where he is in his rehabilitation.”