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In an interview with ESPN’s Bob Harig, former pro golfer Paul Azinger criticized Brooks Koepka’s comment that he doesn’t enjoy playing in the Ryder Cup.
Koepka made the rounds yesterday after Golf Digest released the comments from Koepka about his performance in the Ryder Cup.
“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.”
Koepka’s comments drew this reaction from Azinger, who questioned whether Koepka should even compete. Azinger notably captained the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team and feels very strongly about the event.
“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. “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.”
Harsh words from Azinger, but there’s a lot of truth in what he says. The Ryder Cup is a big event to those who have played it, and Koepka’s nagging injuries may prevent him from playing well in the event. Koepka had to withdraw in the third round of the Tour Championship two weeks ago due to a wrist injury.
The Ryder Cup will take place Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.
The U.S. team constructed by captain Steve Stricker will consist of some of the biggest stars of the game, including Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas.