Bryson DeChambeau again hit the headlines for the wrong reasons as tempers flared in a series of incidents on day two of the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.
Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were also involved in unfortunate flare-ups as Team USA strengthened their grip on the contest, although the holders did stage a valiant fightback in Saturday afternoon’s fourballs.
DeChambeau was again left out of the foursomes, but he wasted little time in stamping his mark on the afternoon session when he became aggravated at not being given a short putt for par on the opening hole.
Partnering Scottie Scheffler against Viktor Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood, DeChambeau insinuated his putt for a half should have been conceded when he rolled in the putt before laying his putter on the green.
His indication the length of the putt was “inside the leather”, less than the distance between the clubhead at the grip, did not sit well with Sky Sports commentators Butch Harmon and Paul McGinley.
“Come on Bryson, that’s not good,” was Harmon’s reaction. “We don’t need to see that, just play golf. It’s classless.”
McGinley described DeChambeau’s behaviour as “out of order” and “a bit of petulance”, and it followed similar incidents involving Shane Lowry, in the preceding match, and Thomas during his foursomes victory with Jordan Spieth against Hovland and Bernd Wiesberger.
Thomas was rested for the afternoon fourballs and took the opportunity to whip up the home crowd in the stands surrounding the first tee, first conducting a Mexican wave before he and Daniel Berger chugged cans of beer that had been thrown at them by the fans.
The delight from the home support was soon stifled when the Spanish duo of Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia won three of the first four holes against Koepka and Spieth, who was then involved in a heated debate with Rahm’s caddie on the fifth hole.
Rahm found water off the tee at the par-five, but Spieth appeared to question where the world No 1 was looking at taking his penalty drop following the advice of an on-course marshal.
But Spieth’s observations clearly angered Rahm’s bagman, Adam Hayes, who was “quite fired up”, according to Golf Channel reporter Jim MacKay, who described the discussion as “animated”.
Koepka, meanwhile, had earlier sworn at Ryder Cup officials during a lengthy debate over his entitlement to a free drop from thick rough on the 15th hole of his foursomes match with Berger against Rahm and Garcia.
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Koepka, who withdrew during the Tour Championship last month after hitting a tree root, feared aggravating his wrist injury as he claimed his follow-through would be impeded by a drainage channel, but his request for relief was rejected by two match referees.
“If I break my wrist, it’s on [expletive] both of you,” said a frustrated Koepka, who regained his composure and hit one of the shots of the week to the heart of the green, although his efforts were in vain as the Spaniards closed out a 3&1 win two holes later.
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September 26, 2021, 11:00am
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