Here's the real reason why only one LIV Golf player was picked for Ryder Cup

Brooks Koepka is the only LIV Golf player competing at the Ryder Cup - and here is the sole reason. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 11 Sep 2023
Here's the real reason why only one LIV Golf player was picked for Ryder Cup

The real reason why only one LIV Golf player is competing in the Ryder Cup this month has come to light. 

Five-time major champion Brooks Koepka will be the only LIV Golf League player teeing it up at Marco Simone in three weeks' time.

While there was never any doubt that European LIV Golf players would not be competing in Luke Donald's team as a result of their star names terminating their memberships on the DP World Tour, the story was very different on Zach Johnson's United States side.

That is because unlike the European Ryder Cup team which is run by the former European Tour, the United States Ryder Cup team is run by the PGA of America and not the PGA Tour

This gave Johnson free reign to pick and choose whoever he wanted from LIV Golf. 

The PGA Tour has still suspended its members who have chosen to play on the Saudi-bankrolled LIV Golf League. 

But according to an interview Johnson gave with AP News following his six picks, the decision to just select one LIV Golf star in Koepka was ultimately down to the views of six of his players. 

In particular, his six automatic players in Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Max Homa and Xander Schauffele. 

They apparently all told Johnson to get Koepka in the team as the sole representative from LIV Golf.

Team USA could have chosen the likes of LIV Golf's Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson, the latter who went 5-0 last time out at Whistling Straits in 2021.

But there were seemingly no calls for either of those two players, or the likes of Patrick Reed and Talor Gooch.

It was solely Koepka, who captured his third US PGA title earlier this season. 

Captain Johnson told AP News

"The only thing that was said about Brooks with the guys — specifically the top six that made the team on their own merit — was, ’We want Brooks Koepka to play for Team USA.'"

That was therefore the main reason why Johnson decided to name Koepka as one of this six picks in the team.

Prior to making his picks, Johnson revealed in an interview the week before that he would more than likely snub LIV Golf players. 

But Johnson ended up picking one LIV Golf player in Koepka, and then the other five were PGA Tour players. 

They were Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Sam Burns. 

It remains to be seen whether Johnson would have picked Koepka had the six automatics not been so vocal about Koepka making the side, but either way, it certainly helped the former World No.1 punch his ticket to Rome. 

Was Johnson right to only pick Koepka from LIV Golf or did others deserve a place in the team? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels. 

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