Paul Azinger calls out Brooks Koepka over his Ryder Cup comments

·3 min read

As far as Paul Azinger is concerned, Brooks Koepka doesn’t need to be at Whistling Straits next week with the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

If he doesn't like the event, the former team captain and current Golf Channel analyst said Wednesday, Koepka should give up his spot.

"I'm not sure he loves the Ryder Cup that much, if he doesn't love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love it," Azinger said Wednesday, via ESPN’s Bob Harig. "Not everybody embraces it. But if you don't love it, and you're not sold out, then I think Brooks — especially being hurt — should consider whether or not he really wants to be there. 

"And if you add the Bryson [DeChambeau] dynamic to that, that would be an even easier decision for him."

Koepka doesn’t sound like he enjoys the Ryder Cup

Koepka, in a wide-ranging interview with Golf Digest, doesn’t sound like he enjoys playing in the Ryder Cup at all.

“It’s a bit odd, if I’m honest,” he said. “I don’t want to say it’s a bad week. We’re just so individualized, and everybody has their routine and a different way of doing things, and now, it’s like OK, we have to have a meeting at this time or god do this or go do that. It’s the opposite of what happens during a major week. If I break down a major week, it’s so chill.”

The hectic nature of a Ryder Cup, paired with the team aspect, just isn’t something he enjoys. He said he can’t go to the gym or squeeze in a nap or relax, which makes playing much more difficult for him.

“It’s tough,” Koepka said. “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.”

The eight-time PGA Tour winner was the only player who didn’t attend a practice session this week at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, too, ahead of the event that kicks off on Sept. 24. Koepka withdrew from the Tour Championship earlier this month, too, due to a wrist injury.

Still, despite his feelings for the event and his injury, Koepka said he’ll be ready to go.

“I’m feeling good,” he said, via Golfweek. “Been doing my rehab, doing everything I need to do to be ready for the Cup. I’ll be there ready to play.”

Brooks Koepka at the 2021 TOUR Championship
Brooks Koepka said he is ready to go for the Ryder Cup lateer this month in Wisconsin. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
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