SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Tempers flared in the opening foursomes match Saturday at the Ryder Cup – but there wasn’t a rift between the two teams.
Daniel Berger’s drive on the 15th hole sailed right of the fairway, into an awkward spot near a drainage channel. After consulting with his opponents, Brooks Koepka called over a rules official to ask about free relief, since he believed the drainage area interfered with his intended swing.
The first official on the scene, David Price – known largely for another rules incident at Whistling Straits, back at the 2010 PGA Championship – wasn’t buying Koepka’s reasoning.
“I don’t think it’s going to interfere with your swing,” Price said.
“You ever seen me hit a ball?” Koepka asked.
“I’ve seen you hit plenty of balls,” Price replied.
At that exchange, Sergio Garcia nearly spit out his drink.
Koepka called for a second opinion. Once again, the official determined there’d be no free relief. Koepka had to play the ball as it lies.
That’s when Koepka, making his first appearance since injuring his left wrist after striking a tree root, started to fume.
Pointing at the two officials he hissed, “If I break my wrist, it’s on f---ing both of you.”
Berger walked away steaming, too. “Bulls---,” he said.
Koepka didn’t injure himself, and in fact he put his approach about 30 feet away for birdie. The Americans two-putted for par to halve the hole but wound up losing the match, 3 and 1.
Afterward, Koepka wasn’t in the mood to discuss the ruling.
“Yeah, we didn’t get it,” he said.
Koepka went back out for the afternoon session, with Jordan Spieth. Berger sat out after compiling a 1-1 mark in team play.