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Whether he likes it or not, Brooks Koepka is well and truly the pantomime villain at this Ryder Cup.

Koepka, the only LIV golfer playing at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, was on the end of partisan boos by the home crowd at the tournament’s Opening Ceremony on the outskirts of Rome on Thursday.

The five-time major champion was jeered as he walked onto the stage when introduced by his captain Zach Johnson alongside his 11 US teammates.

• Ryder Cup: Rory McIlroy takes aim at LIV trio 

• Concerns raised for caddies at Marco Simone

Responding to the audible boos, Johnson said in his press conference: “I didn’t hear anything, it’s hard to hear from the stage.

“I know Brooks well enough to know he’s very secure in himself, and I know his 11 team-mates are very secure in him.

“The way we approach it, that’s all that’s important. I didn’t hear anything but applause for the guys I mentioned.”

Koepka, of course, will not be deterred by the boos, most of which appeared in jest.

The 33-year-old is gearing up for his fourth Ryder Cup and is ready to shine in one of the only events on the golfing calendar that truly gets his juices flowing.

Somewhat a lone wolf in this sport, he is desperate to be part of something greater this time around in contributing to a winning US team on European soil for the first time.

“Other than the Ryder Cup, I think the most pressure you can feel is in a major,” he said.

“Guys should believe in themselves, but everybody else has got to be thinking that they don’t. That’s why I think that way. You’ve got to think you’re the best player on the golf course, best player on the team, best player in that current time, and if you don’t, then there’s something wrong with you.”

He was typically blunt in his press conference on Wednesday, however, when attention inevitably turned to him being the only LIV golfer teeing it up in the biennial contest.

“I don’t make the decisions,” said the 33-year-old. “Everybody had an opportunity to get there. I mean, I had the same opportunity as every other LIV player, and I’m here.

“Play better. That’s always the answer.”

Koepka, however, has seemingly not played well enough to enforce captain Johnson to pick him in the Friday morning foursomes.

Here’s the list of foursomes matches that will get us underway on Friday morning…

Ryder Cup Friday morning foursomes matches

Match 1: 6:35am Rahm/Hatton v Scheffler/Burns
Match 2: 6:50am Hovland/Aberg v Homa/Harman
Match 3: 7:05am Lowry/Straka v Fowler/Morikawa
Match 4: 7:20am McIlroy/Fleetwood v Schauffele/Cantlay

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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