Golf-Koepka confirms he will play in Ryder Cup


FILE PHOTO: Sep 2, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the Tour Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) - Four-times major winner Brooks Koepka confirmed his participation in next week's Ryder Cup, after his commitment to the competition was called into question.

In an interview with Golf Digest this week, Koepka described the biennial team event between the United States and Europe as "a bit odd" and mentally challenging, saying that he might not be cut out for team sports.

The 31-year-old's comments were criticised by former United States captain Paul Azinger, who suggested Koepka withdraw from the event if he does not want to be there.

However, Koepka said he will be ready to tee it up at Whistling Straits next week and has been in touch with U.S. captain Steve Stricker as he resumed practising.

"I'll be there. I'm good to go," he told Golfweek. "I'm feeling good. Been doing my rehab, doing everything I need to do to be ready for the Cup. I'll be there ready to play."

Koepka is continuing recovery from a wrist injury that forced him to withdraw from the Tour Championship earlier this month but initially feared he had aggravated an injury from three years ago.

"I couldn't continue because I had no grip strength in my left hand," he added. "When I hit the root I thought it was a stinger and my wrist was feeling weird. I lost feeling to my elbow for a bit.

"The MRI showed us some stuff and just making sure it's calmed down and got everything worked out. Grip pressure has gotten back to normal. Some ice, some rest, some soft tissue work and some rehab and we're good to go"

The Ryder Cup, postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be played from Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. Europe are defending champions after a seven-point rout at Le Golf National near Paris in 2018.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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