Ahead of this week’s Ryder Cup, American captain Steve Stricker refused to rule out making the sensational move to pair Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau together.
Speaking to the media on Monday, Stricker, 54, was asked if he had sat down with the feuding major champions and what steps he has taken to ensure there are no incidents at Whistling Straits.
“It’s a non-issue, really, for me and the team,” Stricker said.
“We got together a few weeks ago – the six of us – 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.”
The idea of sending Koepka and DeChambeau out together in a foursomes or fourball tie was thrust into the spotlight by veteran coach Butch Harmon last week.
Related: Bryson wants to end Koepka feud
Harmon, whose former clients include Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, said he would “put them [Brooks and Bryson] out the first day, first match out.
“I’d say, ‘Guys, I want you to suck it up and go win a damn point’.
“This isn’t about you; this is about the Ryder Cup. This is about your team. You can have your battles next week.”
It would be a bold strategy and one sure to rile up an impassioned Wisconsin support, and although Team USA’s skipper refused to rule it out completely, he admitted such a scenario was unlikely.
“Will we pair them together? I don’t think so at this point but things could change,” Stricker said.
“[It] could always happen but probably not. But 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.”
Not only has the relationship between Koepka and DeChambeau hit the headlines in the run-up to the 43rd biennial contest, but so has the American duo’s preparation.
DeChambeau, who decided to enter the Professional Long Drive World Championships next week, told Golf.com that his “hands are wrecked” from the intensive training required, while doubts linger about Koepka’s desire having stated he finds the Ryder Cup “a bit odd.”
“I’ve talked to him about it,” Stricker added in reference to the four-time major winner’s comments.
“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 jive up to what I was reading in those articles.
“He assures me he’s healthy. He assures me that he is 100 per cent all-in on this team and whatever he need to do for this team to become the winner at the end of the week.”
The action gets underway this Friday at Whistling Straits as the Americans look to arrest a run of European dominance that stretches back more than two decades.