Brooks Koepka was one of six automatic qualifiers for Steve Stricker’s team for the 2021 edition but heads into the week at Whistling Straits under an injury cloud after withdrawing from the Tour Championship with a wrist issue.
Although He was the only member of Stricker’s squad not present for a recent two-day trip to the Wisconsin course, with the US captain saying afterwards Koepka was still rehabbing his injury, albeit saying he “wants to be there and he’s working hard to be there”.
However, with the event on the horizon, Koepka was forthright in his views on the disparity between individual and team play, especially on the mental side of the sport, when the topic of the Ryder Cup came up in an exclusive interview with Golf Digest.
“It’s different. It’s hectic. It’s a bit odd, if I’m honest. I don’t want to say it’s a bad week,” said the world No 9. “We’re just so individualized, and everybody has their routine and a different way of doing things, and now, it’s like, OK, we have to have a meeting at this time or go do this or go do that. It’s the opposite of what happens during a major week.
“If I break down a major week, it’s so chill. You wouldn’t even believe me. I go to the course. I play nine holes. I go work out. Other than that, I’m sitting and watching TV, taking my mind off golf with relaxing stuff. The physical part, I can handle. The mental side, you have to be able to turn it off.”
Meanwhile, Koepka has a 4-3-1 record in his two Ryder Cup appearances so far, being part of a winning team under Davis Love III’s captaincy at Hazeltine in 2016 and then tasting defeat at Le Golf National in Paris two years later.