In the modern age, the Ryder Cup has never been short of contention, controversy and crash, bang, wallop.

The War on the Shore at Kiawah Island in 1991, for instance, was such a highly charged, rancorous affair, it could’ve opened with an artillery salvo instead of a session of foursomes.

The Battle of Brookline in 1999, meanwhile, almost left shrapnel embedded in the turf as it roared to a chaotic conclusion and what seemed like the entire population of Massachusetts invaded the 17th green. Who said golf was a genteel, staid pursuit overflowing with Corinthian spirit?

Here at the Marco Simone club in 2023, the toys have been hurled out of the pram. The rumpus in Roma? Well, the hostility appeared to stem from a triviality to be honest.

But, under the microscopic gaze of a feverish media, which is a bit like plonking the entire Ryder Cup circus into a petri dish and examining it in laboratory conditions, every word, action, huff and puff gets magnified.

So, when a brassed off Brooks Koepka sat in a press conference the other night sporting the glum countenance of Les Dawson opening a disappointing bank statement and took a rather cryptic pop at Jon Rahm, the temperature was cranked up a little bit. Not that it needs to be. It’s boiling out here.

Koepka, partnering Scottie Scheffler in the fourballs on Friday afternoon, had watched Rahm reel off two thrilling eagles on the last three holes to plunder a half-point in a dramatic denouement.  

Asked to give his thoughts on the late twist in the tale, the five-time major champion offered up a somewhat abstruse observation. “I want to hit a board and pout just like Jon Rahm did,” he said. “But, you know, it is what it is. Act like a child. But we’re adults. We move on.”

Koepka’s mood was certainly not lifted in Saturday’s foursomes when, in partnership with Scheffler again, they lost by a frightening 9&7 margin, the biggest in Ryder Cup history, to Ludvig Aberg and Viktor Hovland. After his trash-talking, this dreadful defeat was, well, trash.

Rahm, in contrast, was in another cock-a-hoop mood after he combined with Tyrrell Hatton and conjured another late flourish to beat Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele 2&1 as Europe sparkled in the Italian sunshine.

It was the ideal time, then, to gently ask him about this stooshie with the board – an advertising hoarding – and the pout.

“I am not going to stand here and say I am a perfect example of what to do on a golf course,” explained Rahm. “I play and compete the way I think I need to play and compete.

“I was not happy that I left a 10-footer short on 17 to possibly tie the hole, and going up to the tee I let out some frustration hitting a board sideways. I kept walking. That was it.

“Brooks thinks that’s childish. He is entitled to think what he thinks.”

Rahm, of course, has always been a rambunctious character at times on the course. In the cut-and-thrust of top-level competition, the Spaniard can be as fiery as a blast furnace but tends to channel all the energy into the right places and reaps the rewards. Rahm won’t be changing.

“I am very comfortable with who I am and what I do,” said the Masters champion. “I have done much worse on a golf course, so that (hitting a board) doesn’t even register on a low level of ‘Jon’ anger on a golf course.

“Whatever he (Koepka) says, it shouldn’t change the way I approach this tournament. That’s it. I’m here to do my job and whatever comments anybody else may have shouldn’t really change the way I go about it or what I think of myself.”

As for Rahm’s relationship with Koepka? “I’ve never had an issue with Brooks, I don’t know now,” he said. “Up until yesterday afternoon I thought we had a pretty good relationship.”

Hatton, a man who can be as explosive as a malfunction at a munitions factory, offered some calming reason on the stooshie. “I think trying to avoid outside noise is the best thing to do,” said Hatton.

“Especially on a week like this, when tensions are high, emotions are pretty high. Sometimes certain things might be said or may be taken out of context. I think you just carry on."

Team Europe continue to crack on.