“They assured me that the team and the country and everything else that goes into this is their top priority. They said it’s not going to be an issue, and I believe them.”
Steve Stricker trusts Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to keep the peace.
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 25/08/21 9:58pm
The feud between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka will “not be an issue” at the Ryder Cup, according to Team USA captain Steve Stricker.
Both players have recently been contacted by Stricker and warned to watch their conduct in and around the team room at Whistling Straits, with both DeChambeau and Koepka are all-but guaranteed to make the side automatically.
DeChambeau and Koepka insisted at The Open that they would put their differences aside for the Ryder Cup week, although they had differing opinions on the prospect of being paired together during the contest.
“They assured me that the team and the country and everything else that goes into this is their top priority,” Stricker told Sports Illustrated. “They said it’s not going to be an issue, and I believe them. I trust them. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been put to bed.”
“We haven’t heard Brooks say anything about Bryson lately. This Ryder Cup means a lot to these guys. Neither one wants to be the root of a problem. They both understand.”
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Koepka dismissed the chances of the rift having an adverse effect on the team in Wisconsin next month, but he also dismissed the idea of playing with his bitter rival over the first two days of the Ryder Cup.
“It’s only a week, I can put it aside for business,” said Koepka at The Open. “If we’re going to be on the same team, I can deal with anybody in the world for a week.
“But I’m not playing with him. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to be paired together; put it that way. I think it’s kind of obvious. It doesn’t matter. I don’t think we’re going to be high-fiving and having late-night conversations. I do my thing, he does his thing.
“Yeah, we’re on the same team, but it’s not an issue at all. I don’t view it as an issue. I don’t think he does. Like I said, I can put anything aside for a team, business, whatever, just to get the job done. No problem with that.”
DeChambeau welcomed the idea of being paired with Koepka, but Stricker did not sound as keen.
“I’m not going to tell you there’s no chance, but I don’t see it happening, no,” he said. “I don’t think they want to play together.”
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