Brooks Koepka never said he didn’t like the Ryder Cup – “y’all spun it that way”.
The media created that impression, claimed the four-time major champion. Although it was surely a fair assumption from the Golf Digest interview he gave.
Koepka went into considerable detail at how much the entire process of the team golf competitions threw him out of his comfort zone.
He hardly seemed that more enthusiastic about the concept, or about his new buddy Bryson DeChambeau, when presented to the media at Whistling Straits. To be fair, Brooks rarely seems to be too enthusiastic about anything.
‘I wouldn’t be nervous if I didn’t care’
“Never said it was negative, y’all spun it that way,” he said. “I said it was different.
“I’ve never played any of these team events. I didn’t play Walker Cup. Never played Junior Ryder Cup. Never played anything like this. I just said it’s different. That doesn’t mean it’s bad.
“I enjoy it. I think it’s a lot of fun to play. (2016, his debut) was probably the most nervous I have been on a first tee. I wouldn’t be nervous on that first tee if I didn’t care.”
He seemed most animated that the various obligations of Ryder Cup week for the team have been trimmed back.
“I think COVID made it that way a little bit, but I think (Steve Stricker) has done a good job of keeping everything kind of on the low because it is a busy week.
“We have a lot of things. I don’t bring my physio just because I know I don’t have time for it.
“But it’s definitely a lot easier and it’s been great. Maybe we’ll see on Sunday, I don’t know. But I think it’s definitely a lot better this year.
“I haven’t played any ping-pong. I haven’t been in the team room. Just chilling too much. I know the obligations are cut down but I’ve still got long days.”
‘I’m like glass. I’m broken, man’
Brooks Koepka didn’t hold back in our exclusive cover story. 👀
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) September 15, 2021
He joked about his fitness – “I’m like glass, left knee, right knee, I’m broken, man.”
“I feel fine, I feel as good as I’ve felt in a long time,” he said with tongue out of cheek. “I did a lot of work on it with my trainer for about eight days, so able to kind of work everything out and make sure it’s fine.
“I’m ready to go as much or as little as they want. 36 holes a day, I’m good.”
Asked to characterise his relationship with DeChambeau, he was less than completely enthused.
“We are on the same team together,” he said. “We’ve had dinner almost every night as a team since I got here on Monday.
“Everyone who is on our team is interacting and everybody is participating in conversations and doing everything we need to do.”
‘I didn’t hear what he said, so I have no idea’
— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) September 21, 2021
And that special thing down the line between them DeChambeau aluded to on Tuesday? “I have no idea. I didn’t listen to the comments or hear what he said, so I have no idea.”
Koepka seems likely to be paired with Daniel Berger, who was also at Florida State University. But they were actually years apart and never played together.
“He’s fiery and I like it,” said Koepka. “I think he’s maybe not on the outside, doesn’t show it, but maybe more so behind closed doors.
“Knowing him personally, he’s definitely very competitive. He’s funny. And I just like the fact that he’s always ready to go. He’s ready to kick your butt, which I think is awesome.”