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Steve Stricker not worried about Brooks Koepka after Ryder Cup comments, wrist injury

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Though Brooks Koepka was battling a wrist injury at the end of the PGA Tour season and sounded like he didn’t care about this week’s Ryder Cup, U.S. team captain Steve Stricker doesn’t have any doubts that Koepka is ready to go this week in Wisconsin.

Stricker said Monday at Whistling Straits that he’s spoken with Koepka plenty of times about his wrist and the comments he made earlier this month when he seemed to slam the Ryder Cup as a whole.

“I've talked to him about it,” Stricker said. “I've had experiences with Brooks over many, many of these teams, and the conversations that I have had with him and what I have personally seen in the team room does not jive up to what I was reading in those articles.

“Again, I am not worried about Brooks. He assures me he's healthy. He assures me that he is 100% all-in on this team and whatever he needs to do for this team to become the winner at the end of the week.”

Koepka doesn’t sound excited about the Ryder Cup

Koepka opened up to Golf Digest in a wide-ranging interview earlier this month, and made it sound like he wasn’t into the idea of the Ryder Cup one bit.

The biennial event between the United States and Europe, he said, isn’t something that he enjoys and really messes up his normal tournament schedule. Koepka said he’s never able to go to the gym, relax or take a nap.

And the team aspect, he said, isn’t always great.

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

Koepka’s comments upset plenty in the golf world, including former team captain and Golf Channel analyst Paul Azinger — who said Koepka should just pull out of the Ryder Cup completely.

“If he doesn’t love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love it,” Azinger said. “Not everybody embraces it. But if you don’t love it and you’re not sold out, then I think Brooks — especially being hurt — should consider whether or not he really wants to be there.”

Koepka, who has won eight times on Tour, had to withdraw from the Tour Championship after suffering a wrist injury. He skipped a practice session last week at the course, too — the only team member to do so. Despite that, he said he’s “feeling good” and will “be there ready to play.”

The Koepka-Dechambeau feud is ‘a non-issue’

Though the feud between Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau has seemingly dominated the golf world in recent weeks, Stricker insisted that he isn’t concerned about it spilling over between the two teammates this week.

While he doesn’t think that he’d ever pair the two together, Stricker is confident that they can get along.

“It's a non-issue, really, for me and the team,” Stricker said. “We got together a few weeks ago, the six of us and I've had conversations with them both. They have assured me it's not going to be an issue. I have no worries whatsoever … We had great conversation, great talks. So I'm not seeing it as an issue at all and they are completely on board.”

Brooks Koepka
Though Brooks Koepka is coming off a wrist injury and slammed the Ryder Cup earlier this month, the U.S. team captain insists that he's "all-in" this week at Whistling Straits. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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