Stricker claims DeChambeau and Koepka rift a ‘non-issue' at Ryder Cup

Steve Stricker, the US Ryder Cup captain, has declared the Bryson DeChambeau versus Brooks Koepka dispute a “non-issue” ahead of this weekend’s event at Whistling Straits. Stricker revealed he has received promises from the pair that lingering and mutual antipathy will be left aside as the US seek to reclaim the trophy from Europe.

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

“It’s a non-issue, really, for me and the team,” Stricker said. “We got together a few weeks ago and I’ve had conversations with them both. They have assured me it’s not going to be an issue. I have no worries whatsoever.”

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Stricker unsurprisingly admitted it is highly unlikely that DeChambeau and Koepka, who have traded public blows throughout 2021, will form an on-course partnership in Wisconsin. “Will we pair them together? I don’t think so at this point but things could change,” said Stricker.

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“Could always happen but probably not. Again, I had a dinner; they all showed up. We had great conversation, great talks. So I’m not seeing it as an issue at all and they are completely on board.”

Stricker had cause to have further discussion with Koepka after comments from the world No 10 appeared last week. Koepka hinted at indifference towards the Ryder Cup environment, which he branded “a bit odd”. Stricker said: “I’ve talked to him about it. I’ve had experiences with Brooks over many, many of these teams, and the conversations that I have had with him and what I have personally seen in the team room does not live up to what I was reading in those articles.

© Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau will set aside their differences this week.

“Again, I am not worried about Brooks. He assures me he’s healthy. He assures me that he is 100% all-in on this team and whatever he need to do for this team to become the winner at the end of the week. I’m not worried about Brooks at all and it’s been good talks and he’s ready to get down and start playing.”

Stricker confirmed Tiger Woods will not be on site this weekend as the 15-times major winner continues his recovery from a serious car accident. “I think it’s just not a good time for him to be here physically because of where he’s at in his rehabilitation,” Stricker said. “It’s a tough course to walk. Everybody is going to see it, from tee-to-green, it’s difficult.

“He’s getting better and his focus and mine is on making a comeback to play again. We don’t want to get in the way of that because we would all love to see him come back and play.”

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