As the eagerly awaited 43rd Ryder Cup approaches at Whistling Straits this week, all eyes appear to have been on the ongoing feud between American team-mates Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau following the pairs’ repeated clashes.
And, the Brooks/Bryson dilemma is not the first time Team USA have endured hostilities in their camp after it was reported Koepka and close friend Dustin Johnson clashed in 2018 over the latter’s fiancee, Paulina Gretzky.
According to reports from Golf Digest and L’Equipe the two American stars were reportedly involved in a heated argument surrounding Johnson’s partner Gretzky on the flight to Paris ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Despite this, Koepka was quick to brush the argument claims off ahead of the event three years ago, insisting he and his American counterpart were ‘best friends’ and that both slept throughout the journey to Europe, ruling out any chance of an altercation.
Reports revealed that Johnson’s fiancee, Gretzky, was at the centre of the on-flight feud, as claims were made Koepka was comforting the 32-year-old after it was rumoured her and the 2020 Masters champion were going through a rough patch in their relationship.
L’Equipe’s anonymous source then revealed that the mood within the American camp was ‘horrible’ for the remainder of the pre Ryder Cup flight.
It was then added that the pair clashed once again following the tournament, after the American’s were invited into the European locker room for drinks following their victory, where again tensions were high within the US ranks.
However, Koepka looked to put any rumours of unrest between him and his friend Johnson to bed at the Alfred Dunhill Championship a week later as he said: “This Dustin thing I don’t get. There was no fight, no argument. He is one of my best friends.
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“We talked on the phone on Monday and yesterday so tell me how we fought, I don’t know. People like to make a story and run with it and it is not the first time a story has come out that is not true.”
This wasn’t the only unrest within the American camp in Paris three years ago, after Patrick Reed slammed captain Jim Furyk for splitting up his partnership with Jordan Spieth, and not electing to play him in the foursome sessions.
Reed commented: “For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice.”
However, an anonymous source within the USA team defended their captain, and instead threw criticism at Reed. They said: “ He [Reed] would have shot 83 on his own ball Saturday. He totally screwed Tiger. He has no clue how to play team golf.”
Whilst Reed is not selected for this year’s event and Koepka and Johnson seem to be on good terms, it seems hostilities are still in the air within the American team due to the ongoing feud between DeChambeau and Koepka.
And, despite seeming fairly friendly in a video released on social media of the rival pair on the Whistling Straits range, captain Steve Stricker will still be looking to keep a strong eye on his side to prevent similar failings to those in Paris three years ago.