American Brooks Koepka should withdraw from next week’s Ryder Cup against Europe if he “does not love the event”, says former US captain Paul Azinger.
Koepka, 31, said this week he found the demands of playing in the competition “odd” and mentally challenging.
There have also been concerns over his fitness after he injured a wrist but he said on Wednesday he was “good to go”.
“Not everyone embraces it. I know players who felt that way. I’m not sure he loves the Ryder Cup,” said Azinger.
“Brooks is one of the most honest and candid guys and if he is honest with himself and if he doesn’t want to be there, he should say it.
“He should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup.”
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The 43rd staging of the biennial competition takes place from 24-26 September and Koepka, who has played twice before, was the only player in the 12-man American team not to attend a two-day meeting at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin this week, choosing to stay at home to continue his recovery.
The world number nine was forced to withdraw from the third round of the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship earlier this month after striking a tree root while playing a shot and damaging a wrist.
However, in a text message to Golf Week on Wednesday, Koepka said: “I’ll be there. I’m good to go.
“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.”
US captain Steve Stricker is yet to comment on Koepka’s comments to Golf Digest earlier this week, but said of his battle to be fit: “I’m leaving it up to him. It sounds positive. He’s working hard to be there.”
In the interview, four-time major winner Koepka said that Ryder Cup week was “so far from my normal routine” that he found it difficult to “decompress”.
“You go from an individual sport all the time to a team sport one week a year,” he added. “I can barely see my (personal) team. It’s hard to even go to the gym.
“It’s more demanding than I’m used to, and there’s a lot of emotion there, so by Sunday, you’re just dead.”
He also said that while he would love to represent the US at the Olympics, it was “just maybe not in my DNA, the team sports thing”.
Azinger, one of only two Americans to captain a winning side this century, at Valhalla in 2008, also feels Koepka’s ongoing feud with team-mate Bryson DeChambeau is not helpful to team morale.
“When you add the Bryson dynamic, that would make the decision easier (for Koepka),” he said.
Koepka contributed three points from four matches on his debut as the US won 17-11 at Hazeltine in 2016 and 1½ points in defeat at Le Golf National in 2018.