ROME - Team USA captain Zach Johnson says Brooks Koepka is 'very secure in himself' after there was 'an adverse reaction' to the American LIV Golf player's name being read out at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony.
"I didn't notice," Koepka snapped to a reporter during his Wednesday press conference when it was brought up he is the only player from the breakaway tour who made it to Rome.
That comment came shortly after he suggested 'very few' players actually want the pressure of having the Ryder Cup being decided by their singles match. "False confidence," Koepka said.
Had he not been a captain's pick, Koepka was extremely close to qualifying automatically on points anyway given he picked up his fifth major at the PGA Championship in May shortly after finishing T-2 at the Masters.
Johnson previously revealed all six of the Team USA automatic qualifiers implored the skipper to bring Koepka to Rome.
"He's built for big occasions," Johnson previously declared.
That being said, Koepka knows very well he will be at the receiving end of some taunts about his defection to LIV Golf at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.
There are bound to be some that go too far. Rory McIlroy offered one sentence about the prospect of heckling here: "If you want to be part of the circus you have to put up with the clowns."
But the jibes have already begun as the hot mics picked up one fan jeering the American during the opening ceremony when Johnson announced his team to the crowd.
Pressed on the moment, Johnson said he didn't hear anything.
Koepka was not selected to play in the opening session.
Johnson wouldn't confirm if we would see Koepka in the afternoon fourballs.
"They are going to be playing Marco Simone this week," he said of his players.
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