Brooks Kopeka described team golf as hectic and "a bit odd"; Paul Azinger: "Not everyone embraces it, but if you aren't sold on it then I think Brooks should consider whether or not he really wants to be there"; 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits starts on September 24, live on Sky Sports
Thursday 16 September 2021 07:50, UK
Former United States captain Paul Azinger has questioned Brooks Koepka's commitment to the Ryder Cup after the four-time major winner described the biennial event as "a bit odd" and said he might not be cut out for team sports.
In an interview with Golf Digest this week, Koepka said the team event pitting the United States against Europe threw his regular routine off and it was tough dealing with distractions such as photo opportunities, meetings and team building.
"You go from an individual sport all the time to a team sport one week a year," he added. "It's so far from my normal routine. I can barely see my (personal) team. It's hard to even go to the gym."
The 31-year-old, who is still recovering from a wrist injury that forced him out of the Tour Championship, said there was no time to decompress at the Ryder Cup.
"It's more demanding than I'm used to, and there's a lot of emotion there, so by Sunday, you're just dead."
Koepka added that while he would love to represent his country at the Olympics, it was "just maybe not in my DNA, the team sports thing".
In response to Koepka, Azginer - who led the United States to victory in 2008 said: "After reading that, I'm not sure Brooks loves the Ryder Cup that much and if he doesn't love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup.
"Not everyone embraces it, but if you aren't sold on it then I think Brooks should consider whether or not he really wants to be there."
Azinger is also concerned about the effect of his well-documented feud with Bryson DeChambeau on team morale.
"When you add the Bryson dynamic, that would make the decision easier for (Koepka)," he said.
"Brooks is one of the most honest, candid guys and if he is blatantly honest with himself and if he doesn't want to be there, he should come out and say it."
The Ryder Cup, postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be played from September 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Europe are defending champions after winning at Le Golf National near Paris in 2018.
Who will win the Ryder Cup? Watch the contest from September 24-26 live on Sky Sports' dedicated Ryder Cup channel - Sky Sports Ryder Cup.
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