NEW YORK (FIELD LEVEL MEDIA REUTERS) – The season-long squabble between rivals Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka won’t have any effect on team chemistry at the upcoming Ryder Cup, United States captain Steve Stricker said.
Stricker, who will lead Team USA against Team Europe at Whistling Straits in his native Wisconsin Sept 24-26, told Sports Illustrated that he informed both players that he will not put up with their behaviour, which has included back-and-forth glares, eye rolls and social media jabs.
“They assured me that the team and the country and everything else that goes into this is their (top priority),” said Stricker, who talked by phone with them individually.
“They said it’s not going to be an issue, and I believe them. I trust them. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been put to bed.”
Still, Stricker said he doesn’t anticipate pairing DeChambeau and Koepka in fourball play against Team Europe.
“I’m not going to tell you there’s no chance,” Stricker said, “but I don’t see it happening, no. I don’t think they want to play together.”
But they will be good members of the team, he said.
“This Ryder Cup means a lot to these guys. Neither one wants to be the root of a problem. They both understand,” he said.
DeChambeau and Koepka are expected to be among the six automatic qualifiers for the team, based on points. Stricker will appoint the other six players after the Tour Championship.
DeChambeau is third in total points, Koepka is fourth.
The Europeans have won nine of the past 11 Ryder Cup events.