The term “rugged individualism” was first coined by former US President Edgar Hoover, describing the experiences of early American settlers as they headed west. With a lack of infrastructure and harsh environments, these border dwellers had no choice but to rely on themselves to survive.
In hostile territory and under the fire of a roaring European crowd, that’s likely how a few of Zach Johnson’s men felt last weekend in Rome.
Koepka was perhaps the epitome of rugged individualism within the American team in Rome this year. Unfazed and soft-spoken, the five-time major winner prefers to let his golf do the talking. But when he faced the press last week, the Florida big man had to use his outside voice, saying something that stuck with Pepperell.
“Brooks, to me, is the outsider,” Pepperell told The. Shredder forecasts Podcast.
“He’s a tremendous individual at this and I think that’s why he’s won so many major tournaments.
“But there was a point where he was asked in the press conference at the beginning of the week: Who is going to have the ball? [to play in a deciding match] You know: “How many people do you think are going to take the ball and win the Ryder Cup?” He thought for a moment and said: “Very little.”
“For me, this is a person who cannot understand that sometimes it is useful to lie to say the right thing when you are part of the team. And there could have been some people on this team who knew that he was, in fact, referring to them and did not identifies Europeans.
“He just said, ‘Very few.’ I think this is someone who doesn’t understand what it’s like to be part of a team.”
Koepka finished with a 1-1-1 record in the Ryder Cup, losing the four-ball match with partner Scottie Schaeffler to the in-form Viktor Hovland and newcomer Ludwig Aberg by an incredible 9&7 margin.
Read more: Ryder Cup stars want Luke Donald to remain as European captain in 2025
“Creator. Troublemaker. Reader. Tv nerd. Proud beer advocate. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Introvert. Certified zombie practitioner. Thinker.”