At his press conference Thursday morning, Brooks Koepka clarified statements he made on the Ryder Cup during an interview with Golf Digest that was published last week, and took aim at the golf media, claiming they spun his comments, portraying in a negative light.
“I never said it was negative. Y’all spun it that way,” Koepka said. “I never said it was negative. I said it was different. Like I said, I’ve never played any of these team events [before turning pro]. I didn’t play Walker Cup. Never played Junior Ryder Cup. Never played anything. I just said it’s different. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. Y’all spun it that way.”
“I enjoy it [the Ryder Cup],” Koepka continued. “It’s a lot of fun to play. I wouldn’t be nervous on that first tee if I didn’t care.”
Koepka’s response comes a day before the start of the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits and a week after he discussed how the team aspect of the Ryder Cup is much different from all other golf tournaments, which are solely focused on the individual.
“It’s tough,” Koepka said when asked about the dynamic at the Ryder Cup. “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. 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. I can barely see my [personal] team,” Koepka continued. “It’s hard to even go to the gym. At the Presidents Cup in New York, we had to go to the gym at 5 a.m. to get it in. We went to the Equinox, and it was me, Dustin and Tiger, and we come back and go to a team meeting. Under regular conditions, I take naps a lot. I might take an hour, hour-and-a-half nap, or just chill on the couch and watch ‘SportsCenter’ before rounds, after rounds, whatever. There’s no time to do that at the Ryder Cup. There’s no time to decompress.”
Koepka’s remarks led 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger to question whether Koepka should participate in the Ryder Cup if “he doesn’t love it.”
“Brooks, when I just read that article, I’m not sure he loves the Ryder Cup that much,” Azinger said. “If he doesn’t love it, he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup. Not everybody embraces it, but if you don’t love it and you’re not sold out, then I think Brooks should — especially being hurt — should consider whether or not he really wants to be there.”
Koepka also discussed the dynamic between him and Ryder Cup teammate Bryson DeChambeau, two players who have made their dislike for each other well known.
“We are on the same team together,” Koepka said. “We’ve had dinner almost every night as a team. I got here Monday. Everyone who is on our team is interacting and everybody is participating in conversations and doing everything we need to do.”
The Ryder Cup tees off Friday, September 24 as the U.S. team attempts to bounce back after losing the 2018 Ryder Cup to the European squad at Le Golf National in France. The Europeans have won nine of the last 12 events.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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