Eddie Pepperell hammers Brooks Koepka after shock Ryder Cup comments

Eddie Pepperell held nothing back when discussing why Brooks Koepka is a disappointment when it comes to the Ryder Cup.

Johnny Percival's picture
Thu, 5 Oct 2023
Brooks Koepka

Sitting down to chat with Andrew Cotter and Iain Carter for The Chipping Forecast podcast, Eddie Pepperell laid into Brooks Koepka when discussing his comments ahead of the 44th Ryder Cup at Marco Simone. 

Never one to mince his words, Pepperell was quick to criticise the five-time major champion and picked out one particular comment that he made in a Ryder Cup press conference that highlighted his poor understanding of what it takes to be in a team.  

During a press conference at the start of the Ryder Cup, Koepka was asked: "If the Ryder Cup came down to one match on the course to decide it, I suspect if you ask all 24 guys here if they want the ball, they'd say yes. How many of them do you think really mean it?"

Related: Koepka blasted Spieth and Thomas then said: "I'm supposed to turn down

After a prolonged pause, he answered: "Very few. False confidence I think". It was these comments that led Pepperell to believe Koepka doesn't understand what it means to play team golf.

He said:

"To me, that is somebody that can't understand that it's sometimes worth lying to say the right thing when you're part of a team. And there will have been some people on that team who would have known that actually, he's referring to them.

"And he didn't specify the Europeans. He just said 'very few', and I think that's somebody who just does not understand the nature of being part of a team."

Team USA suffered a nearly humiliating defeat in the 44th iteration of the historic team event, with the score finishing 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 in favour of the Europeans, and Koepka himself was on the receiving end of a brutal 9&7 loss to Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg in the Saturday morning foursomes, alongside his partner Scottie Scheffler

Pepperell went on to explain that had the same question been posed to either Rory McIlroy or Jon Rahm, they would have understood the consequence of the answer to that question, but Koepka just doesn't get it.

He said: 

"I think Brooks does not understand it. And honestly, I think for that reason, he's a disappointment when it comes to the Ryder Cup. 

"That, to me, epitomised everything that is wrong with the US Team. That is just not the kind of answer you would get in a fully cohesive team environment."

Pepperell was also sceptical about Team USA's planning ahead of the team event, sighting the five-week rest given to the players as inexplicable, saying: 

"I think the four or five weeks off is inexplicable. I can't understand it. You know, as a player, I think you can have two weeks off, but you need to have some relatively competitive freshness built up in the system, and I think four to five weeks is far too long."

Listen to Pepperell and Cotter's comments in full below.

Take me to more Ryder Cup news!