We all know what happened when Hal Sutton lit up the 2004 Ryder Cup before it had even begun and the chances of an even more unlikely alliance between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka seem pretty remote.
“I’m not going to tell you there’s no chance,” Steve Stricker told Sports Illustrated “but I don’t see it happening, no. I don’t think they want to play together.”
No great surprise there but what was revealing was how important Stricker was taking their dislike for one another and the possibility that it might spill into a team room that has only won the cup three times in the past 12 meetings.
“They assured me that the team and the country and everything else that goes into this is their [top priority]. They said it’s not going to be an issue, and I believe them. I trust them. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been put to bed.
“We haven’t heard Brooks say anything about Bryson lately. This Ryder Cup means a lot to these guys. Neither one wants to be the root of a problem. They both understand.”
Paul Azinger, the winning captain in 2008, added that he had spoken with Stricker and that, again, the pair’s differences were a big part of their chat.
“I talked to Strick for about 25 minutes and we spent about half that time discussing the Brooks and Bryson. He knows the risk is the same as the one Hal took with Tiger and Phil, but something like that can work either way. There’s a chance those two guys could create the greatest rallying cry ever — or the whole thing could become a total pain in the ass.”