Brooks Koepka faces a race against time to be fit for the upcoming Ryder Cup with the Team USA star struggling with a wrist injury.
The teams for golf’s blockbuster team event at Whistling Straits have been confirmed and all eyes are turning to Wisconsin.
Koepka qualified for Steve Stricker’s side by right following another fine season on the PGA Tour but could miss out on representing the Stars and Stripes.
The 31-year-old’s injury will be causing sleepless nights for Stricker as he ponders over who he should bring in should Koepka be unable to tee it up.
With just a few days until the 2021 Ryder Cup gets under way, Team USA still have a number of questions to answers…
Brooks Koepka injury: Is he fit?
Koepka injured his left wrist/forearm after making heavy contact with a tree root at the Tour Championship on September 4.
Koepka’s club reverberated dramatically after striking the root which neither he or caddie Ricky Elliott had seen before his shot.
He was forced to pull out of that tournament and has been recovering since.
Koepka has had to deal with a number of injuries in recent years including issues with his hips and knees.
The four-time Major winner is yet to confirm whether he’ll be fit to play for Team USA at the Ryder Cup.
Koepka has featured in two Ryder Cups in his career so far, in 2016 and 2018, and has a record of four wins, three defeats and one halved match.
Brooks Koepka injury: Who could replace him?
Should Koepka fail to prove his fitness, Stricker will have a tough decision on his hands.
In terms of world rankings and recent form, it would appear to be a straight shootout between Billy Horschel and Patrick Reed.
Horschel was superb as he won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last weekend and expressed his disappointment at not getting picked or receiving a phone call from Stricker.
Reed, meanwhile, won the Farmers Insurance Open this season, played well at The Masters and has good Ryder Cup pedigree.
Other players who could stake a claim to replace Koepka include Webb Simpson, Kevin Na, Sam Burns, Jason Kokrak and even 2021 PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson.
Brooks Koepka injury: What has been said?
After winning at Wentworth, Horschel admitted his Ryder Cup snub gave him a ‘little bit of fire in my a***’.
He said: “Listen, I didn’t play well enough to make enough points to be an automatic qualifier. I didn’t play consistent enough over the last few months to really give myself a great chance to be picked.
“I will say this, there was a little added motivation this week. I thought I was going to get a phone call. Didn’t think it was going to be a phone call that said I made the team. But it was a phone call saying, ‘hey, you had a great year, obviously we talked, but we’re going to go in a different direction’.
“I didn’t get that phone call. I was a little upset. I was a little ticked. Gave me a little bit of fire in my butt or my a***, to be nice to really not show anything, but you know, just gave me a little fire, not that I needed it.
“But yeah, like I said, I didn’t play well enough to qualify and I didn’t play well enough to obviously be close to being picked. So it is what it is. I’m going to support the team. They have got an unbelievable team and I’m excited to see what happens in two weeks.”