Updated Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 3:10 p.m. ET
Multiple people on the flight refuted the details of the report when reached by Golf Channel.
The fallout continues from a disastrous outing for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, including first-hand reports that Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka nearly came to blows during a visit to the European team room after the competition concluded Sunday at Le Golf National.
But according to a French language report, the tension between the friends who have accounted for the last three U.S. Open titles started before the American squad even touched down in Paris.
A U.S. team source told the French sports publication L’Equipe that the spat between Johnson and Koepka actually began on the U.S. charter flight from Atlanta following the final round of the Tour Championship on Sept. 23, where Koepka finished T-26 and Johnson narrowly missed out on the $10 million FedExCup.
According to the report, U.S. captain Jim Furyk had to intervene in the middle of the flight and remind both players to “put the interests of America and the team first.” The issues also reportedly played a role in Furyk’s decision to split them up during Friday’s first day of matches, when Johnson played with Rickie Fowler and Koepka teamed with Tony Finau.
“The atmosphere was horrible. Jim Furyk was devastated,” said a team staff member.
Expected to be a frequent pairing based on their close relationship and success together at last year’s Presidents Cup, Johnson and Koepka played together only during the last team session Saturday afternoon when the U.S. faced a four-point deficit. They lost, 2 and 1, to Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.