Thursday 16 September 2021 8:51 am

Brooks Koepka should drop out of Ryder Cup if he doesn't like it, says former US captain Paul Azinger

Former US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger has urged Brooks Koepka to consider dropping out of next week’s contest with Europe.

Koepka, who is recuperating from a wrist injury, admitted this week that he found being part of a team event “more demanding” than regular tournaments.

“Not everyone embraces it. I know players who felt that way,” said Azinger, who led the US to victory at Valhalla in 2008.

“Brooks is one of the most honest guys and if he is honest with himself and doesn’t want to be there, he should say it, especially because he is hurt.”

Koepka’s involvement is likely to attract heightened interest due to his simmering row with US team-mate Bryson DeChamabeau.

“When you add the Bryson dynamic, that would make the decision easier,” Azinger said.

The US are favourites to claim the Ryder Cup, which starts at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin on Friday 24 September, despite only winning two of the last nine matches.

Four-time major winner Koepka revealed his lukewarm feelings towards the Ryder Cup in an interview with Golf Digest.

“It’s tough. There are times where I’m like, I won my match. I did my job. What do you want from me?” he said.

“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. That’s new, and you have to change the way you think about things.

“You go from an individual sport every week to a team sport one week a year. There are meetings and team building, and you’re whisked away for a lot of things like pictures and all that.”

Koepka helped the US win the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in 2016 and was also part of the losing team at Le Golf National three years ago.

“Under regular conditions, I take naps a lot. I might take an hour, hour-and-a-half nap, or just chill on the couch. There’s no time to do that at the Ryder Cup,” he added.

“It’s more demanding than I’m used to, and there’s a lot of emotion there, so by Sunday, you’re just dead.”

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