Which LIV players deserved a Ryder Cup pick? Jack Nicklaus has some thoughts...

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus says Brooks Koepka was the only LIV Golf player who deserved to be picked by Team USA for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Which LIV players deserved a Ryder Cup pick? Jack Nicklaus has some thoughts...
Which LIV players deserved a Ryder Cup pick? Jack Nicklaus has some…

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus says no LIV Golf player other than Brooks Koepka deserved to be picked for the forthcoming Ryder Cup.

Nicklaus captained Team USA to victory in 1983 at PGA National and later oversaw the 15-13 defeat at Muirfield Village in 1987. 

The Golden Bear never had the dilemma of selecting players from a league that started as a rival to the PGA Tour

But that is exactly what happened to Zach Johnson and the 47-year-old ultimately decided only one LIV player was worthy of selection. 

And that would be Koepka, who vaulted up the rankings thanks to finishing T-2 at the 87th Masters before winning the PGA Championship. 

The 33-year-old will be competing in his fourth consecutive Ryder Cup and is looking to improve upon his 6-5-1 record. 

Koepka has also never been defeated in the singles. "He's built, in my mind, for the biggest stages," said Johnson of Koepka. 

Agreeing with Johnson's decision to pick Koepka, Nicklaus told the Palm Beach Post:

"I think he deserved to be on the team. Yes, no question. He played very well. He played very well in very important tournaments. He got beat out the last tournament for the automatic spot, but he's still deserved to be picked."

Other than Koepka, there were calls for Dustin Johnson to be selected owing to his experience and the fact he went 5-0-0 as Team USA humiliated Team Europe 19-9 at the 2021 Ryder Cup. 

Johnson has conceded that his decision to leave the PGA Tour ultimately cost him a place and Koepka agrees with that verdict

Aside from DJ, skipper Johnson could have considered Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch and even Patrick Reed as a wildcard. 

Nicklaus disagrees. "I don't think there's anybody else from LIV that deserved to be picked," he said. 

Koepka will play one final tournament - LIV Golf Chicago - before flying directly to Rome. 

In a recent interview with SI, Koepka reflected on the comments he made before the 2021 Ryder Cup. 

Koepka was crucified by some when he complained he wasn't able to take naps during the contest and found it difficult to decompress. 

"I just said it was different," Koepka said. "Y'all spun it as negative."

Jack Nicklaus' Ryder Cup career record

  • Career Ryder Cup record: 16-8-3 
  • Years played: 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1981
  • Years captain: 1983, 1987
  • Total matches: 28
  • Singles: 4-4-2
  • Foursomes: 7-1-0 
  • Four-balls: 5-3-1 

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