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While the mainstream golf world has its eyes on Whistling Straits in Wisconsin for possible Ryder Cup drama between Team USA teammates Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, the real golf insiders have their eyes on Paulina Gretzky and Jena Sims, the women who are engaged to Dustin Johnson and Koepka.
You might remember the 2018 Team USA disaster in France where the Americans were destroyed by Team Europe and that led to a reported dispute where Koepka threatened to flatten Johnson, who was supposed to be his friend, at a post-tournament party.
Golf insiders say that Gretzky and Sims were central figures in the dispute. Why? It’s still unclear to this day, and Koepka’s management team claimed someone made up the story. Gretzky-Johnson and Sims-Koepka would go on a couples trip to the Maldives in early 2019, but Gretzky-Sims don’t appear to be the best of friends these days.
What does that mean for the 2021 Ryder Cup — Americans have won just two cups since 2000 — and the team dynamics? It means that whatever differences Sims and Gretzky have, they need to put them aside for the nation. This is about the red, white and blue. This is about sucking from the cup on Sunday.
The good news is that Gretzky was all smiles earlier this week at a Ryder Cup bar dinner. Sims, according to her Instagram Story, seems to have buddied up with Patrick Cantlay’s girlfriend Nikki Guidish, which should allow for some breathing room away from any confrontation with Gretzky.
Keep your eyes on the pairings. In 2018, Johnson and Koepka were paired together on Saturday and lost, plus nearly fought Sunday. Golf.com predicts captain Steve Stricker will pair Dustin Johnson with newcomer Collin Morikawa while Koepka will Daniel Berger and Koepka will be paired together. Keep in mind that Berger’s girlfriend Tori Slater has a strong friendship with Jena Sims.
Just some insider baseball to keep in mind this weekend as Team USA looks to keep the Cup on American soil.
Tori Slater – Girlfriend of Daniel Berger
Nikki Guidish – Girlfriend of Patrick Cantlay
Katherine Zhu – Girlfriend of Collin Morikawa
Jena Sims – Engaged to Brooks Koepka
Paulina Gretzky – Engaged to Dustin Johnson