Dustin Johnson and Koepka in row at Europe’s victory party
The Americans were following tradition by joining the winning team’s post-event party
US golfers Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka during their foursomes match on the second day of the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. Photograph: Getty Images
The latest signs of a dysfunctional United States Ryder Cup team have appeared after it emerged that Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka had to be separated following a row at Europe’s victory party on Sunday night. Hours earlier Patrick Reed admitted egos were a problem for the American team as he blamed Jordan Spieth for the end of their successful Ryder Cup partnership before going on to describe the US captain Jim Furyk’s decision to leave him out of two sessions at Le Golf National as “not smart”.
Johnson, Koepka and Reed had followed tradition by joining the winning team’s post-event party. Yet Johnson and Koepka, regarded as close friends, became embroiled in a flare-up which had to be calmed by others in the vicinity.
Reed and Spieth had won four and halved two of their seven matches together at Gleneagles and Hazeltine but Reed was twice paired with Tiger Woods and Spieth played four matches with Justin Thomas in Paris over the weekend.
That was the subject of the final question of the American team’s press conference on Sunday evening, with Spieth answering diplomatically: “We were totally involved in every decision that was made. Jim allowed it to be a player-friendly environment.”
However, in an interview conducted an hour later with the New York Times, Reed said at that point he was looking at Spieth “like I was about to light the room up like Phil in ’14”, a reference to Phil Mickelson’s searing criticism of captain Tom Watson – sitting a few feet away – following the defeat at Gleneagles.
“The issue’s obviously with Jordan not wanting to play with me,” Reed said. “I don’t have any issue with Jordan. When it comes right down to it, I don’t care if I like the person I’m paired with or if the person likes me as long as it works and it sets up the team for success.”
Reed and Woods were the only American pair to lose on Friday morning, after which Reed expected Furyk to revert to pairings which had worked previously. Instead he and Woods sat out the foursomes session which was lost 4-0 for the first time in Ryder Cup history.After a second defeat to Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood on Saturday morning, Reed was left out again.
“For somebody as successful in the Ryder Cup as I am, I don’t think it’s smart to sit me twice,” added Reed, who beat Tyrrell Hatton in Sunday’s singles. “Every day [in the team room] I saw: ‘Leave your egos at the door.’ They [THE EUROPEANS]do that better than us.”