(Reuters) – American Brooks Koepka dismissed reports that he fought with team mate Dustin Johnson following the United States’ dismal Ryder Cup loss to Europe last weekend, saying that Johnson was still one of his best friends.
The Telegraph newspaper reported that Koepka and Johnson — nicknamed the Bash Brothers for their big hitting — clashed after they were invited to Europe’s team room on Sunday following the 10.5-17.5 defeat at Le Golf National in France.
The report said Johnson’s partner Paulina Gretzky had fuelled rumours of the rift when she deleted images of Koepka from her Instagram account.
French newspaper l’Equipe reported on Tuesday that the two men had argued on their flight to Europe ahead of the event.
“This Dustin thing I don’t get. There was no fight, no argument,” Koepka told reporters ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland on Wednesday.
“He’s one of my best friends; I love the kid to death. We talked on the phone Monday and yesterday so you tell me how we fought. People like to make a story and run with it.
“It’s not the first time there’s been a news story that isn’t true that’s gone out.”
Koepka said the camaraderie within the U.S. team during the Ryder Cup was fine and took aim at the media.
“The problem is you guys (the media) try to find a reason why we lost and the simple reason is we just didn’t play good enough,” Koepka said.
“We didn’t make the putts, hit the fairways, especially me. I lost two matches and halved another one. If I won those, if Tiger Woods wins his; Dustin lost one with me and then I think lost in the singles.
“If we play how we’re supposed to play we win, it’s simple as, but there’s nothing wrong with our team. Our team was great, (captain) Jim (Furyk) was great.”
Koepka had earlier said he was heartbroken to learn that a tee shot of his which struck a spectator in France had reportedly left the woman blind in one eye.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)