Paul Azinger has questioned whether Brooks Koepka should take his place in the U.S. Ryder Cup team, after the American identified indifference to the biennial competition and major records in a comprehensive interview.
Koepka, who has four major championships to his credit, said time is on his side in his bid to catch Tiger Woods (15 majors) – or even the all-time leader, Jack Nicklaus (18).
"In my mind, I'm going to catch (Woods) on majors. I believe that. I don't see any reason that can stop me," told Golf Digest in America.
"I'm 31. I have another 14 years left. If I win one a year, I got Jack.
"People misconstrue that as being cocky. No, that's just my belief. If I don't have that belief, I shouldn't be out there. If you don't think you can win, why the hell are you teeing it up?"
Koepka has won the 2017 and 2018 US Open as well as the 2018 and 2019 PGA Championship, and finished in a tie for second in the 2019 Masters, which was won by Woods.
Woods, 45, has won the Masters on five occasions, the PGA four times and the U.S. Open and The Open three times apiece.
The 81-year-old Nicklaus won the Masters six times, the PGA five times, four U.S. Opens and three Opens.
Meanwhile, former U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger has questioned Koepka's desire for the competition and thinks he should give up his place in the squad for "someone who would love to play" if he does not want to.
"Not everyone embraces it, but if you aren't sold on it then I think Brooks should consider whether or not he really wants to be there, especially as he is hurt." - Paul Azinger.
In the magazine interview, Koepka says he finds the biennial event "tough, hectic and a bit odd" and also expressed his frustration that he "can't take naps" during the week.
Steve Stricker, who will be U.S. captain at Whistling Straits, has yet to comment on Koepka's views but Azinger, one of only two U.S. captains to have won the Ryder Cup this century at Valhalla in 2008, believes that he should withdraw if he does not want to play.
"After reading that, I'm not sure that Brooks loves the Ryder Cup that much and if he doesn't love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love the Ryder Cup," Azinger said in an NBC teleconference.
"Look, Brooks is one of the most honest, candid guys and if he is blatantly honest with himself and if he doesn't want to be there, he should come out and say it.
"Is Brooks deep down thinking, 'Is this my reward – for playing so well I have to go and play in the Ryder Cup?' It's possible. I know there have been players who felt that way. The Ryder Cup is a different animal.
"Not everyone embraces it, but if you aren't sold on it then I think Brooks should consider whether or not he really wants to be there, especially as he is hurt."