Even by their own standards, the fallout in the American camp following a sixth successive away Ryder Cup defeat has been quite extraordinary. First Patrick Reed hit out at one of his team-mates, Jordan Spieth, and now it has been claimed that Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka were involved in two separate spats.
According to L’Equipe, the first one involving the pair, who are considered friends and workout partners, took place as the United States team flew from Atlanta to Paris straight after the season-ending Tour Championship a week past Sunday.
That claim was made after a report emerged in a British newspaper that Johnson, the world No 1, and Koepka, a two-time major winner this year, had to be pulled apart after clashing when they turned up at the European team’s after-match party on Sunday night.
It was claimed that witnesses were “clearly shocked and upset by the nastiness, which was very threatening”, though, according to Koepka’s agent, it never happened.
“From what I gather I believe someone made this story up,” said Blake Smith. “Nothing to report on our end.”
Koepka himself will be asked to provide his version of the events at a press conference this morning in St Andrews ahead of his appearance in this week’s Dunhill Links Championship, with team-mate Tony Finau, who picked up two points out of three on his Ryder Cup debut, also in the field.
“It was so fun to be part of a Ryder Cup, and now that I have been part of one I hope to be part of many more,” said Finau, who beat Tommy Fleetwood, who had won four matches out of four on the opening two days with Francesco Molinari, in the singles.
“The Europeans played incredibly well and they deserved to win. But my performance was good. I played nicely and I was able to close out my singles match early against Tommy, so a lot of positives for myself. But the result wasn’t the one we wanted as a team.”