Brooks Koepka fires back at fans over not wanting to play spectator-less Ryder Cup

Brooks Koepka hits drive at 2018 Ryder Cup

Brooks Koepka tees off during the 2018 Ryder Cup surrounded by galleries packed with fans.

Getty Images

Brooks Koepka has no interest in playing the 2020 Ryder Cup if fans are not allowed on the grounds. Though he’s mentioned it before, he reiterated his position during an appearance on Golf Channel on Tuesday.

“I personally don’t want to play if there’s no fans. I don’t see a point in playing it,” Koepka told Gary Williams on Golf Central.

According to Koepka, his hesitance to compete in the biennial team event at an empty Whistling Straits has nothing to with not wanting to sport the stars and stripes on his golf gear. Instead, Koepka contends that the absence of fans on-site will hurt the event and take away from the typically boisterous atmosphere.

“The fans make that event. That’s what we get nervous on the first tee. You hear the chants. You hear everything that’s going on – the U-S-A- (chant), all that stuff. That’s what makes it fun,” Koepka said.

What Koepka didn’t consider was the hordes of fans who avidly follow the Ryder Cup action on TV from the comforts of their homes. One such Twitter user responded to a tweet about Koepka’s comments making that exact point.

It appears that Koepka noticed the tweet, and he wasn’t about to let the criticism go unchallenged, no matter who it was coming from. He fired back, “U watching on the tv doesn’t bring atmosphere to the event buddy.”

But it didn’t stop there. Twitter user @active_87 responded to Koepka’s quip, writing “@BKoepka it’s not like this will be the new normal, but for the fans, we should get sports back as soon as possible, and if it takes the course being fanless then that’s what it takes. We are in unique times, it would be awesome if you understood that for the common joe.”

Again Koepka was not convinced, and he replied with his own tweet, writing, “Maybe u should understand the tour is starting in 3 weeks.”

The back-and-forth halted after that one, with Koepka likely realizing the impracticality of duking it out with golf fans on the popular social media platform. But his opinion still stands, and he’s not the only player who thinks that way. On a TaylorMade livestream chat in late April, Rory McIlroy shared a similar sentiment.

“If it came to whether they had to choose between not playing the Ryder Cup of playing it without fans,” McIlroy said. “I would say just delay it a year.”

The 2020 Ryder Cup is currently scheduled to be played on its original dates, September 25-27 at Whistling Straits.

Kevin Cunningham

Golf.com Editor

As managing producer for GOLF.com, Cunningham edits, writes and publishes stories on GOLF.com, and manages the brand’s e-newsletters, which reach more than 1.4 million subscribers each month. A former two-time intern, he also helps keep GOLF.com humming outside the news-breaking stories and service content provided by our reporters and writers, and works with the tech team in the development of new products and innovative ways to deliver an engaging site to our audience.