Steve Stricker also says Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are unlikely to be paired together in matchplay event; watch the Ryder Cup throughout the week live on Sky Sports as Europe defend the title they won at Le Golf National in 2018
Last Updated: 21/09/21 9:39am
US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker insists the rift between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka is a “non-issue” ahead of this weekend’s contest at Whistling Straits.
Major winners DeChambeau and Koepka, who have traded public blows for the last two years, are team-mates for hosts USA as they bid to regain the trophy they lost at Le Golf National in 2018.
Ahead of this year’s Open Championship, Koepka said DeChambeau was “fair game” after his countryman had supposedly not held up on an agreement the pair had made in 2019 to keep any personal disputes private.
“It is a non-issue really for me and the team,” said Stricker in a pre-tournament news conference on Monday.
“We got together a few weeks ago [with his five vice-captains] and I’ve had conversations with them both. They have assured me that it is not going to be an issue. I have no worries whatsoever.”
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Such has been the public nature of the pair’s rift, that the PGA Tour warned fans who taunt DeChambeau with “Brooksy” chants they could be banned from events.
Stricker unsurprisingly said the feuding pair, who are two of eight USA players in the world’s top 10, were unlikely to team up for the matchplay contest in Wisconsin.
“Will we pair them together? I don’t think so at this point, but things could change,” he said. “Could always happen, but probably not.”
Koepka, world No 10, was an injury doubt after injuring his wrist during the season-ending Tour Championship earlier this month, but Stricker said the four-time major winner is fully recovered for the three-day event.
“I’ve been talking to him ever since it happened, check in with him every couple of days. He tells me everything is 100 percent and everything is ready and raring to go,” the US captain said.
Stricker also dismissed any concerns over Koepka voicing his apparent indifference to the Ryder Cup in an interview to Golf Digest last week.
Koepka described the event as “a bit odd” and said he might not be cut out for team sports as it disrupted his regular routine.
“I have talked to him about it,” Stricker said. “What I have personally seen in the team room doesn’t jive up to what I was reading in those articles. Again, I am not worried about Brooks.”
Who will win the Ryder Cup? Watch the contest from September 24-26 live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Ryder Cup channel – Sky Sports Ryder Cup.
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