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DeChambeau-Koepka feud called 'non-issue' by U.S. captain Stricker before Ryder Cup

Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune on

Published in Golf

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan a month ago announced disrespectful fans who have joined in the feud by shouting "Brooksie" at DeChambeau all summer will be ejected.

The sport's longest hitter also has become its biggest lightning rod.

"There are times when it's not comfortable, but there's also times where it fuels me,"DeChambeau said. "I think this week is going to be an amazing example of it and it's going to be fun to have the crowd behind us, pump them up and show them what I can hopefully do. And what we can do as a team more importantly."

DeChambeau spoke to media members on Tuesday for the first time in weeks.

"I'm not going to make this about me again," DeChambeau said. "This is about a team event. I've got a brass chest. I've taken a lot of heat. But I'm OK with it and I understand I'm in the place where I'm at and it's going to be that way moving forward."

Koepka on Thursday declared himself healthy from a wrist injury sustained nearly a month ago, but didn't quite concur with Stricker, who called Koepka "100 percent health-wise."

"I'm like glass, so I wouldn't say I am 100 percent," Koepka said. "Left knee, right knee, broken, man."

 

Then he said he'll play 36 holes a day over tumbling Whistling Straits if needed.

"I feel fine," Koepka said. "I feel as good as I've felt in a long time. I'm ready to go as much or as little as they want."

He called the Ryder Cup and its match-play team format different, hectic and a "bit odd" in a July interview with Golf Digest. The 2008 U.S. team captain Paul Azinger last week said Koepka should relinquish his spot if he doesn't love the Ryder Cup. Koepka is 4-3-1 in two Ryder Cups.

"I never said it was negative, y'all spun it that way," Koepka told reporters Thursday in a media-room interview. "I just said it was different. That doesn't mean it's bad. I enjoy it. I think it's a lot of fun to play. I wouldn't be nervous on that first tee if I didn't care."

Stricker said Koepka told him he's healthy and committed.

"He assures me he is 100 percent all-in on this team and whatever he needs to do for this team to become the winner," Stricker said. "It has been good talks and he's ready to get down and start playing."

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