Azinger questions Koepka’s love for playing in the Ryder Cup

Azinger questions Koepka’s love for playing in the Ryder Cup

Brooks Koepka says in an interview with Golf Digest that the Ryder Cup week is busy and “a bit weird” because it takes him out of his solo routine and doesn’t leave him time to decompress.

It was enough to make Paul Azinger wonder if Koepka should play next week.

“I’m not sure he likes the Ryder Cup very much,” Azinger said during a conference call for NBC Sports, where he now works as a lead golf analyst. “If he doesn’t like it, he should give up his place and bring the people who love the Ryder Cup there.”

For Azinger, the Ryder Cup is a character.

He played four times and is best known for his feud with Sword Ballesteros and an epic fight with Nick Faldo in 1993 that resulted in a draw. Azinger was also known as “Captain America” ​​in 2008 when he introduced a pod system to attract more investment to players. The United States ended up beating Europe in Valhalla that year.

Koepka never said in an extensive interview that he didn’t like the Ryder Cup. He’s played on the latter two teams and even competed on a badly injured ankle in the 2016 PGA Championship in an effort to qualify for the team, which he did.


“I don’t want to say it’s been a bad week,” Koepka told Golf Digest in a Q&A. “We’re just very individual, everyone has their own routine and a different way of doing things, and now, it’s like, OK, we have to have a meeting at this time or go do it or go do it. It’s the opposite of what happens during a major week.”

Koepka has had consecutive victories at the US Open and the PGA Championship and has a reputation for giving his best at the major tournaments. He does his own things and says it’s important to stop playing when he’s not playing.

Different Ryder Cup.

“It’s tough,” Koepka said. There are times when I like, ‘I won my game. I did my job. what do you want from me? “I know how to take responsibility for the shots I hit every week. Now, someone else took a bad shot and left me in a bad spot, and I know this hole is a loss. This is 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,” he said. “It’s a long way from my usual routine.”

Some of his comments reflected the thinking of Rory McIlroy, who has played every game since his first Ryder Cup in 2010. McIlroy was asked about the team’s concept two weeks ago on the Tour Championship.

“You can be your friend, try to be the best teammate,” McIlroy said. “At the end of the day, I want to go out and win my point. That’s all I can do. I’m a professional golfer and, of course, I’m very selfish, and there’s no point in not being selfish in which—that.”

“The best thing you can do to be a team player is to win a point.”

The topic was brought up during the conference call when Azinger was asked what advice he would give US captain Steve Stryker on dealing with the thorny relationship between Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

Both players are able to put the team on their shoulders and “carry a Ryder team cup,” Azinger said, and they can also be a royal pain in the neck.


He then recalled the interview with Koepka, who is recovering from a wrist injury that occurred when he crashed into a tree root under the grass in East Lake for the Tour Championship.

“Not everyone accepts it,” Azinger said of the Ryder Cup. “But if you don’t like and you’re not completely sold out, I think Brooks – especially his getting hurt – should consider whether or not he really wants to be there.”

Azinger suggested the decision would be easier given his meat with DeChambeau.

“Brooks is one of the most honest and honest men out there, and if he’s blatantly honest with himself and doesn’t want to be there, he should come out and say it,” Azinger said.

Koepka seems to have made up his mind. In a text message to Golfweek on Wednesday evening, he said, “I’ll be there ready to play.”

This isn’t the first time a player has been criticized as the Ryder Cup approaches. Hunter Mahan was on the cusp of qualifying for his first team in 2008 when he was quoted in a Golf magazine article as saying that the Ryder Cup was mainly about money and he had heard the week was too long with extravagant dinners.


Mahan apologized to the US PGA, then missed the cut in the finals. The captain – Azinger – chose him anyway.

Mahan was undefeated in his five matches with the US win.


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