Brooks Koepka is arrogant and needs to get a life - Ian Woosnam slams US Ryder Cup bad boy

Ian Woosnam has branded Brooks Koepka as arrogant and a disruptive influence and thinks Padraig Harrington should use the disharmony it is creating in the United States team as fuel to fire Europe to Ryder Cup glory this week.

US golfer Brooks Koepka has been blasted by Ian Woosnam for his comments about the Ryder Cup (Picture: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP via Getty Images)
US golfer Brooks Koepka has been blasted by Ian Woosnam for his comments about the Ryder Cup (Picture: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP via Getty Images)

Former world No 1 Koepka said last week that he found the Ryder Cup experience to be ‘odd’ and that it took him away from his usual pre-tournament routine.

It comes amid an ongoing fued with US team-mate Bryson DeChambeau and follows reports that he nearly came to blows with Dustin Johnson at the conclusion of the last Ryder Cup in Paris three years ago.

Europe won that match convincingly and if they are to do so again as underdogs against a US team loaded with players high up in the world rankings, Woosnam believes the selfish attitude of Koepka should be targeted.

US golfer Dustin Johnson (R) and US golfer Brooks Koepka line up a putt during their his foursomes match on the second day of the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le Golf National Course at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, south-west of Paris. Reports later emerged that they nearly came to blows. (Picture: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

“The article Koepka has just done, that’s not nice for his team. It’s not good,” said Woosnam, who captained Europe to a crushing victory at the K Club in 2006.

“He’s basically said I could do without this, it’s getting me out of my routine doing this.

“Christ almighty – get a life!

“If I was captain and it was one of my players I’d be saying ‘what the f**k you doing?’ All this crap he’s got going with DeChambeau – is it that bad or is it just false? Either way, it’s not good for Steve Stricker (US captain). And De Chambeau as well – something about his hands? Who’d want to play with him?

Bryson DeChambeau on his Ryder Cup debut in 2018 (Picture: Getty Images)

“It wouldn’t surprise me if neither of them (Koepka or DeChambeau) played before the singles. They’re already making excuses.

“You hear all this stuff last time between Dustin Johnson and Koepka – is there something going on with Koepka?

“Is he one of these guys who likes to stir everything? Is it arrogance? It’s almost like he’s shrugging them all off and saying I don’t want to be like you.”

It could all play into the hands of Harrington, Europe’s captain at Whistling Straits.

Brooks Koepka of the United States walks from out of bounds to the fourth green during the afternoon foursome matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National on September 29, 2018 in Paris, France. (Picture: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Will he use this as motivation for his team in what is always a busy week of press conferences and galas before the first tee shot is struck on Friday morning?

“Oh Christ, yeah, absolutely,” said Woosnam.

“Harrington should be saying, ‘look at them they’re already arguing. Let’s see if we can play on that a little bit’.

“They’ve got a whole week of press conferences to come, they’re going to be asked ‘why you saying that?’, ‘how’s your hands?’, ‘are you going to be playing together?’ ‘Are you going to be like Tiger and Phil were?’

Ian Woosnam, Europe's 2006 Ryder Cup captain (Picture: PA)

“The European press are just going to be winding them up all week.”

Woosnam continued: “The US team are all individuals and that’s what they’ve always been. I thought they were coming closer together over these last few matches but you’re just seeing some of the articles with these two; not so much Bryson, but you can see it spreading away. When I did the Ryder Cup in 2006, Tom Lehman (rival captain) couldn’t get his team selections in when they needed them, I got mine in within 10 minutes. They just couldn’t make a decision.

“That means there’s too many cooks in the kitchen.

“That gives you a psychological advantage straight away.”

Woosnam was speaking at Ilkley Golf Club last week at the Senior Invitational held in his name.

As ever, the former world No 1, Masters champion and Ryder Cup-winning player and captain was on top form. And it wasn’t just Koepka in the firing line – but the modern-day reliance on stats.

“When I did it it was bloody easy, but that’s what happened with a good team around you, good management around you,” he said. “But some people make it look difficult: stats here, stats there, what’s that all about?

“Golf is a feel game. If you’re a good player, go and play with that player. How can you pair someone based on stats? Stats are rubbish. All it’s about is getting another sponsorship with a stats company.

“I can understand being an individual with stats, where you’re game is not very good, but half these kids need a coach to tell ’em they’re no good at something. If you don’t know you’re not good enough from 100 yards in there’s something wrong with you.”

When it came to Harrington’s wildcard picks, Woosnam felt the Irishman was right to choose Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Shane Lowry over Justin Rose. “You put Poulter in, it doesn’t matter who he’s playing you feel like he’s 2up before he even starts,” says Woosnam. “Do you feel like you’re 2up before you put Rosey in?

“Lowry – it’s a golf course that will really suit him. And Sergio, well if he’s on, there’s no better man to have in your room. He gets so excited, he fetches the other lads on as well.

“I think it’ll go down to the wire, who’s going to be last man out? Is it going to be the Postman (Poulter)? It’ll be thrilling if it is.”

When asked if back in 2006 there was any big speech he delivered, he gave an insight into the mentality the Europeans have.

“I did a bit of a speech, just get out there, there’s no superstars in this team,” he remembers.

“Olazabal and Harrington had had that big row in the Seve Trophy before the Ryder Cup and Olazabal got up start of the week and said it doesn’t matter what’s happened in Spain, we’re here, we’re here to win, bygones are bygones.”