The Ryder Cup is being contested at Whistling Straits near Kohler, Wisconsin, where they make toilets. So go ahead and flush any thoughts that this is going to be a lopsided victory for the United States despite the Americans’ superior squad.
Steve Sticker’s team has issues, many of them related to the divergent personalities on his roster. Yes, we are talking about Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka, and whether their ongoing feud can be put behind them, which seems possible after they had a team dinner Tuesday night that we can assume included Wisconsin fare like bratwurst, cheese, Schlitz and frozen custard.
Europe has the No. 1 ranked player in the world, Jon Rahm, and COVID-19-related travel restrictions mean we will likely not see the type of drunken, lout behavior that has marked so many past versions of these events held on U.S. soil.
Then again, there are Brits living in the States who will be able to get their hands on both tickets and beer, and the British tend to get creative when it comes to disturbing the peace. Just ask any country that has had to endure that crowd during soccer Champions Cup events or the World Cup.
Of course, Americans can get loose-lipped when getting past their third Schlitz. And that means a derisive chant of “Brooksie” directed at Mr. Protein Shake could have a negative influence on DeChambeau, whose hands got calloused from his obsessive practicing for next week’s national long drive competition in Mesquite, Nevada.
And that could have an impact on which wagers pay off and which do not. Since we should all be gambling on this event at MaximBet, it is worth considering whether Europe, despite its talent deficiency (the Americans have eight of the Top 10 ranked players in the World Rankings), can win this thing for the 10th time in the last 13 occasions it has been contested. Europe had a lopsided 17 ½-10 ½ victory when the competition was last held in France in 2018.
Paul Azinger, who has a checkered history at the Ryder Cup, made headlines recently when he questioned whether Koepka should relinquish his spot. Koepka, who is fighting a wrist injury, has complained that the time commitments of the Ryder Cup—as well as a switch to a team format rather than an individual format—are things he does not like. He actually complained that it was depriving him of his precious nap time.
Nap time? A comment like that is almost enough to make you want to embrace DeChambeau, despite his dorky driving cap and his self-righteous protein shake drinking regimen.
If ever there was an intra-sport feud in which both players were equally insufferable, nominations are now closed. The long-running saga between the two is well-documented, and it has given the sport an extra level of soap opera drama. Not that it needed it, especially in the Ryder Cup.
Azinger told reporters that he is not sure Koepka should be part of the American squad after the No. 9 player in the world questioned the setup of the event in a recent interview.
“After reading that, I’m not sure that Brooks loves the Ryder Cup that much and if he doesn’t love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup,” Azinger told Golf Digest.
“Not everybody embraces it. But if you don’t love it, and you’re not sold out, then I think Brooks – especially being hurt – should consider whether or not he really wants to be there.”
Azinger was at the center of a controversy back in 1999 at the “War on the Shore” on Kiawah, S.C. where the American fans were especially tough on Colin Montgomerie and his, ahem, physique.
At that event, Azinger and Chip Beck accused Seve Ballesteros of gamesmanship on account of his throat clearing during Beck’s shots. Later in the same match, Azinger and Beck, who were playing the same brand and make of ball but each with a slightly different model, switched their balls.
That constituted a violation of the “one ball rule” under which a player is prohibited from changing the type of ball he uses during the course of a match.
A few holes after the switch had occurred, Ballesteros called the Americans for the violation. Azinger, seeming to feel that his integrity was being questioned, said “I can tell you we’re not trying to cheat.”
Ballesteros responded, “Oh no. Breaking the rules and cheating are two different things.” The goading between Ballesteros and Azinger was constant and resulted in what many regarded as one of the best pairs matches in history, with the Spaniards winning 2 and 1. After the matches concluded, Ballesteros reportedly said, “The American team has 11 nice guys. And Paul Azinger.”
But back to this year.
DeChambeau has been involved in public rows with Koepka for more than a year, with the U.S. captain Steve Stricker having to step in last month to broker peace between them.
Koepka called out DeChambeau for slow play, while DeChambeau made fun of Koepka’s physique in a magazine interview. The feud then picked up steam after a leaked interview Koepka recorded with the Golf Channel in May. As DeChambeau walked behind the camera, Koepka rolled his eyes and made obvious his distaste for the player.
“Whether or not they are both doing it to maximize their global profile, Bryson wants it over,” DeChambeau’s coach, Mike Schy, said Monday. “Move on. The bottom line is two big egos.”
Will that actually happen? Peace is elusive in our times, so we are going to have to wait and see. With that thought in mind, MaximBet.com has come up with several prop bets regarding the golf feud and the Ryder Cup. Feast your eyes on these:
Ryder Cup Prop Bets: What Will Happen First?
Patron ejected for saying “Brooksy:” +100
DeChambeau put on clock for slow play: +200
DeChambeau speaks to media: +300
Koepka withdraws due to injury: +500
DeChambeau blames loss on hands or driver: +1000
DeChambeau/Koepka side-by-side in team photo: +1500
DeChambeau/Koepka on-course fight: +2500
Which Player Will Finish With the Most Wins at the Ryder Cup?
Brooks Koepka: +100
Bryson DeChambeau: -120
Which player Will Finish With the Most Points at the Ryder Cup?
Brooks Koepka: +115
Bryson DeChambeau: -140
Will Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka Be Paired Together at the Ryder Cup?
Will Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay Be Paired Together at the Ryder Cup?
Will Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson be Paired Together at the Ryder Cup?
And should the feud continue, there is always the chance that the two square off on a different forum, perhaps an Octagon or a boxing ring.
Koepka vs. DeChambeau Charity Boxing Odds
Brooks Koepka: -150
Bryson DeChambeau: +120
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