OWINGS MILLS, Md. — United States Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker mentioned that he is spoken individually to Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka about placing their operating feud to relaxation for the nice of American golf, and every has agreed it will not be a difficulty at Whistling Straits.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Stricker mentioned he’d spoken with every of them on the cellphone and gotten some assurance that their mutual disdain will not be a distraction for an American squad that is received simply two Ryder Cups within the final 20 years.
Each golfers, based on the 54-year-old captain, agreed to cease publicly sniping at each other. Or a minimum of agreed to press pause.
“They assured me that the workforce and the nation and all the things else that goes into that is their [top priority],” Stricker advised Sports activities Illustrated. “They mentioned it is not going to be a difficulty, and I imagine them. I belief them. So far as I am involved, it has been put to mattress.”
After his opening-round 70 within the BMW Championship at Caves Valley on Thursday, Koepka acknowledged to ESPN that he and Stricker had spoken, and that he had no challenge dialing again no matter their feud has advanced into.
“I talked to Strick and he mentioned they do not need it,” Koepka mentioned Thursday. “I advised him: ‘That is simple sufficient.’ For one week, we’ll put all the things apart. It is not an enormous deal.”
Stricker famous that the squabbling between the 2, most of which performed out on numerous social media platforms after the PGA Championship at Kiawah, has already cooled significantly.
“We have not heard Brooks say something about Bryson currently,” Stricker mentioned. “The Ryder Cup means lots to those guys. Neither needs to be the foundation of the issue. They each perceive.”
Koepka has been forthright when requested about DeChambeau — he readily admits he would not like him, and he has enjoyed needling him in numerous methods — however he has additionally mentioned he did not imagine that may be a difficulty for Group USA from Sept. 24 to 26 in Wisconsin.
Golf, in Koepka’s eyes, is a person sport, and a frequent obsession with camaraderie — notably in Ryder Cups — is overblown.
“It is a person sport and also you play a workforce factor for one week,” Koepka mentioned. “To be trustworthy, it is extra of a enjoyable week than something. No one is aware of what goes on behind closed doorways. There may be at all times going to be a winner and there’s at all times going to be a loser. Any individual has to lose, whether or not it is us or Europe. Everybody makes [camaraderie] an enormous deal whenever you lose, however that is a part of sport.”
What does a harmonious locker room seem like to Koepka? One which makes a whole lot of birdies. It is not, in his thoughts, way more difficult than that.
“If everyone seems to be successful, guys are a little bit bit extra excited and all the things is simple,” Koepka mentioned. “It is such as you see in another sport. If a season is not going properly, when you’ve got a tricky loss, guys freak out. You see fights, a whole lot of anger, guys down on themselves. The identical factor goes with [the Ryder Cup]. We do not often try this in a person sport, however it’s a workforce factor for one week. In order that’s the way it goes.”
DeChambeau has mentioned little during the last month, boycotting all post-round interviews with print reporters since he was widely criticized for saying, after testing positive for COVID-19 previous to the Tokyo Olympics, that he wasn’t going to get vaccinated for the virus as a result of he wished to avoid wasting the shot for somebody who wanted it greater than he did.
Requested whether or not there was any likelihood he would possibly go towards typical considering and truly pair Koepka and DeChambeau collectively on the Ryder Cup — harking back to Hal Sutton’s determination to pair Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson collectively in 2004 on the peak of their uneasiness towards one another — Stricker basically shot down the thought.
“I am not going to let you know there isn’t any likelihood,” Stricker advised SI. “However I do not see it taking place, no. I do not assume they wish to play collectively.”