The 2021 American Ryder Cup team is set, but former PGA star Paul Azinger believes one player should consider giving up their spot.
During a recent interview with Golf Digest, American golfer Brooks Koepka explained how it’s difficult for himself to transition into the team dynamic of the Ryder Cup, calling it “different,” “hectic” and “a bit odd.”
“You go from an individual sport all the time to a team sport one week a year,” he said. “It’s so far from my normal routine.”
On Wednesday, Azinger weighed in on Koepka’s recent comments about the event.
“Brooks, I just read that article, I’m not sure he loves the Ryder Cup that much,” Azinger said during an NBC Golf call. “If he doesn’t love it, he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup.”
Koepka injured his wrist when he came into contact with a root during the Tour Championship earlier this month. In addition to his reservations with the team golf format, Azinger referenced this injury as another reason the 31-year-old golfer should consider bowing out.
“Not everybody embraces it,” he said. “But if you don’t love it, and you’re not sold out, then I think Brooks should, you know, especially being hurt, consider whether or not he really wants to be there.”
Azinger, captain of 2008’s Ryder Cup-winning team, also mentioned Koepka’s ongoing feud with teammate Bryson DeChambeau as potential hangup.
“And then if you add the Bryson dynamic to that, that might be an easier decision for him,” Azinger said. “But Brooks is one of the most candid, most honest guys there ever is and if he’s blatantly honest with himself and he doesn’t want to be there, he should come out and say it. But, I don’t know, I’m a fan of both players, and I just feel like it’s gonna be one or the other. They’re gonna put the weight of the team on their shoulders or they’re gonna be a pain in the neck.”
Koepka was not seen at practice with Team USA at Whistling Straits on Sunday or Monday, per Golf Digest. When asked about his status last week, captain Steve Stricker would not give a clear indication of the American star’s plan.
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