The 2021 Ryder Cup is already full of drama, and the competition hasn’t even started yet.
The ongoing feud between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau will be front and center this weekend as the two become teammates on Team USA. But maybe the feud is close to ending, after DeChambeau claimed he wanted it to end.
On Monday, DeChambeau’s coach Mike Schy spoke with the The Irish Times (Dublin) about the feud and DeChambeau’s thoughts moving forward.
“Whether or not they are both doing it to maximize their global profile, Bryson wants it over,” Schy said. “Move on. The bottom line is two big egos.”
While there has been no comment on Koepka’s side, this statement will be put to the test at the Ryder Cup. Team USA captain Steve Stricker isn’t concerned about the feud heading into the tournament, via ESPN Milwaukee.
“They have assured me it’s not going to be an issue,” Stricker said. “Will we pair them together? I don’t think so at this point.”
So, it looks like fans won’t see DeChambeau and Koepka working as a team this weekend. Drama sells, but Team USA needs all the chemistry it can get, especially with six rookies on the team this year.
That said, this won’t be the first time Ryder Cup pairings have caused controversy for Team USA: At the 2018 tournament, Patrick Reed slammed captain Jim Furyk’s pairings as a “buddy system” after he was placed with Tiger Woods. Jordan Spieth, with whom Reed was paired in the 2014 and 2016 Ryder Cups, teamed up with Justin Thomas.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said at the time. “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success. He and I know how to make each other better. We know how to get the job done.”
Koepka was in the news recently for comments he made regarding the Ryder Cup, which drew a lot of backlash from former golfers and fans.
“It’s tough. 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,” Koepka said in an interview with Golf Digest. “Now, somebody else hit a bad shot and left me in a bad spot, and I know this hole is a loss. That’s new, and you have to change the way you think about things. 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.”
Former Ryder Cup Team USA member Paul Azinger spoke about Koepka’s comments, saying Koepka shouldn’t play on Team USA if he doesn’t enjoy the Ryder Cup.
“I’m not sure he loves the Ryder Cup that much, if he doesn’t love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love it,” Azinger said. “Not everybody embraces it. But if you don’t love it, and you’re not sold out, then I think Brooks — especially being hurt — should consider whether or not he really wants to be there. And if you add the Bryson (DeChambeau) dynamic to that, that would be an even easier decision for him.”
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