Team golf is chaotic and “a little unusual,” according to Brooks Kopeka; Paul Azinger says, “Not everyone embraces it, but if you’re not sold on it, I think Brooks should evaluate whether or not he really wants to be there.” The Ryder Cup 2021 begins on September 24 at Whistling Straits.
Brooks Koepka’s dedication to the Ryder Cup 2021 has been questioned by former United States captain Paul Azinger after the four-time major champion described the biannual event as “a bit strange” and said he might not be made out for team sports.
In a recent interview with Golf Digest, Koepka noted that the team event putting the US against Europe threw his normal routine off and that it was difficult to deal with distractions like picture opportunities, meetings, and team building.
“You go from an individual sport all year to a team sport once a year,” he continued. “It’s such a departure from my usual routine. My (personal) team is scarcely visible. Even going to the gym is difficult.”
The 31-year-old, who was forced to withdraw from the Tour Championship due to a wrist injury, said there was no time to relax at the Ryder Cup 2021.
“It’s more demanding than I’m used to, and there’s a lot of emotion involved, so you’ll be dead by Sunday.”
While Koepka would love to represent his country at the Olympics, he believes it is “simply not in my DNA, the team sports thing.”
In reaction to Koepka, Azginer remarked, “After reading that, I’m not sure Brooks loves the Ryder Cup that much, and if he doesn’t love it, he should renounce his seat and have others there who do love the Ryder Cup.”
“It’s not for everyone, but if you’re not sold on it, I believe Brooks should think about whether he truly wants to be there.”
Azinger is particularly concerned about the impact on team morale of his well-publicized feud with Bryson DeChambeau.
“When you bring in the Bryson dynamic, it makes it simpler for (Koepka) to make a decision,” he added.
“Brooks is one of the most honest, transparent individuals I’ve ever met, and if he’s being really honest with himself and doesn’t want to be there, he should say so.”
The Ryder Cup, which was postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 24-26. After winning at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018, Europe is the defending champion.
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