Ryder Cup: Paul Azinger Doubts Brooks Koepka’s Commitment
Former US captain Paul Azinger thinks Brooks Koepka should withdraw from next week’s Ryder Cup if he “does not love the event”. The Team USA player is set to face Europe in next week’s golf tournament.
Koepka, 31, said earlier this week that he found the demands of playing in the competition “odd” and mentally demanding in an interview with Golf Digest.
Because of recently picking up an injury, there have also been concerns over his fitness, which could affect the betting odds for the Ryder Cup. However, the four-time major winner said on Wednesday that he was “good to go”.
“Not everyone embraces it. I know players who felt that way. I’m not sure he loves the Ryder Cup,” said Azinger.
“Brooks is one of the most honest and candid guys, and if he is honest with himself and if he doesn’t want to be there, he should say it.
“He should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup.”
The biennial competition takes place from September 24-26 for the 43rd time this week. Team USA usually all meet in person before the tournament starts. However, Koepka was the only absent team member from the 12-man American team two-day meeting at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Koepka instead opted to stay at home to aid his recovery.
Earlier this month, the world number eight withdrew from the third round of the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship because of an injury. While competing, the golfer damaged his wrist by hitting a tree root when taking a shot.
Yet it seems he will be fit to play after the previous number one sent a message to Golf Weekly on Wednesday saying: “I’ll be there. I’m good to go.
“I’m feeling good. Been doing my rehab, doing everything I need to do to be ready for the Cup. I’ll be there ready to play.”
Azinger, who won the Ryder Cup twice as captain, thinks Koepka’s ongoing feud, which started in January 2019 with team-mate Bryson DeChambeau could negatively affect team morale.
“When you add the Bryson dynamic, that would make the decision easier (for Koepka),” he said.
On his Ryder Cup debut in 2016, Brooks Koepka contributed three points from four matches as the US beat Europe 17-11 at Hazeltine and 1½ points when losing the tournament at Le Golf National in 2018.