The four-time major winner insists prior comments about the Ryder Cup were misinterpreted by the media
Facing the media for the first time since coming under fire for comments that suggested he wasn’t overly enamoured by the Ryder Cup, Brooks Koepka launched a stern defence of himself, blaming reporters for their “negative” interpretation.
In a recent interview with Golf Digest, the 31-year-old described the biennial dust-up between America and Europe as “different” and “a bit odd”, before adding: “I don’t want to say it’s a bad week, we’re just so individualised and everybody has their routine and a different way of doing things.
“There are times when 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.”
Not only did his remarks catch the attention of the media, but past Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger suggested the four-time major winner “should relinquish his spot” if those are his true feelings on one of the game’s most exciting spectacles.
And asked if he was concerned American fans might share Azinger’s opinion, Koepka responded in typically abrasive fashion.
“I never said it was negative,” the 31-year-old asserted. “Y’all [the media] spun it that way.
“I said it was different. Like I said, I’ve never played any of these team events. I didn’t play Walker Cup. Never played Junior Ryder Cup. Never played anything. I just said it’s different. That doesn’t mean it’s bad.
“I can only do my job and then y’all report whatever your opinion or side might be. So you guys have kind of already spun it negatively, so it kind of is going to trickle to the fans because you guys are kind of our only outlet besides social media.
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“So it’s how you guys take it and spin it, and you guys spun it negatively. Whatever they think is kind of off what they read, whether you write an article, whatever you’re doing.
“They read that stuff. So it’s all kind of your guys’ opinion, they are going to take that side a little bit more.”
Instead, Koepka insisted he finds the Ryder Cup “a lot of fun to play” and directed those in attendance to previous comments made about the first-tee nerves he felt in his debut appearance at Hazeltine in 2016 as proof of how much he cares.
“It [the first tee in 2016] was probably the most nervous I had ever been on the first tee. It was good.
“I didn’t play the morning match, so I went out and watched the guys tee off and got to soak in the atmosphere which was pretty cool.
“I got chills, I think I was standing next to Tiger or maybe Davis and was like, ‘how cool is this?’
“I enjoy it. I think it’s a lot of fun to play. Like I said, I wouldn’t be nervous on that first tee if I didn’t care.”
Next on the agenda was his current relationship with Bryson DeChambeau, who hinted on Monday that the pair had settled their differences that date back more than two years.
In fact Bryson, who seems desperate for a permanent cease fire, even teased that “something fun” was in the pipeline. When prompted however, Koepka was caught completely unaware.
“I have no idea. I didn’t listen to the comments or hear what he said, so I have no idea.
“We are on the same team together. We’ve had dinner almost every night as a team. I got here on Monday. Everyone who is on our team is interacting and everybody is participating in conversations and doing everything we need to do.”