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#pounditSaturday, September 18, 2021

Paul Azinger calls out Brooks Koepka over controversial Ryder Cup remarks

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka made some surprising comments recently that called into question whether he wants to compete at the Ryder Cup, and Paul Azinger had a strong response for the four-time major champion.

In an interview with Golf Digest’s Matthew Rudy that was published on Tuesday, Koepka candidly shared his thoughts on playing in the Ryder Cup. He said the entire experience is “a bit odd” because the routine is so much different from a normal major or tournament. He also indicated that there are times at the Ryder Cup when he does not enjoy himself.

“It’s tough. There are times where I’m like, I won my match. I did my job. What do you want from me?” Koepka 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 all the time to a team sport one week a year. It’s so far from my normal routine.”

Azinger, a longtime analyst who had a major win of his own at the 1993 PGA Championship, felt Koepka should have kept those thoughts to himself. On Wednesday, Azinger urged Koepka to give his spot to another golfer if he doesn’t love representing the U.S. at the Ryder Cup.

The U.S. has lost to Europe in seven of the last nine Ryder Cup tournaments. There was a lot of in-fighting at the event in 2018, and Koepka was at the center of it when he reportedly almost got into a fist fight with Dustin Johnson. There have been other chemistry issues as well, and many believe those have played a significant role in the American team’s struggles.

Koepka is one of the better U.S. golfers on the PGA Tour, but many people will likely agree with Azinger. No one is forcing Koepka to be there, and there are plenty of other American golfers who would relish the experience.

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