U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker’s job wasn’t made any easier after the recent drama involving Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
Stricker said last month that he hoped the two stars could put aside their differences for the benefit of the team – and that’s exactly what Koepka said he is planning to do come September at Whistling Straits.
“It’s only a week,” he told reporters Tuesday at The Open. “Look, I can put it aside for business. If we’re going to be on the same team, I can deal with anybody in the world for a week.”
Then Koepka made what appears to be a critical point: “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.”
Koepka hasn’t played a U.S. team event since the 2018 Ryder Cup, when he partnered with Tony Finau and Dustin Johnson. In other team events he has teamed with Daniel Berger and Brandt Snedeker.
DeChambeau, meanwhile, partnered with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods at the 2018 Ryder Cup before joining forces with Finau at the 2019 Presidents Cup.
Both players are near-locks to be automatic selections for the team, with DeChambeau currently No. 2 in the points standings and Koepka No. 4. The qualification process ends next month.
“We’re not going to be high-fiving and having late-night conversations – I do my thing, he does his thing,” Koepka said. “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.”