Brooks Koepka issued a blunt response to a question about whether more LIV players should have been involved in the Ryder Cup. Koepka was one of six captain’s picks for Team USA at this year’s matches to be played in Rome.
Koepka, Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas were the captain’s picks by Zach Johnson. They were joined by Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Xander Shauffele, Scottie Scheffler, and Wyndham Clark who all qualified automatically.
The six players who automatically qualified did so by acquiring points via the PGA Tour and DP World Tour events. However, those competing for LIV Golf did not receive any Ryder Cup qualification points and required a captain’s pick in order to be involved.
Koepka is the only player to have signed up for LIV Golf and will be taking part in this year’s Ryder Cup – his performances in the majors were enough to make him an automatic selection. A number of other high-profile players missed out for both the USA and Team Europe, including Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, and Lee Westwood.
During a press conference at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club on Wednesday, Koepka was asked if other players competing for LIV had been given a fair chance to qualify. In response, Koepka offered his advice to players who had not been selected.
“I don’t make the decisions,” Koepka told reporters. “It doesn’t — 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.”
The feud between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour has been ongoing ever since the Saudi-funded breakaway league began signing some of the sport’s biggest players in 2022. An agreement was announced on June 6 of a proposed merger between the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) and the PGA Tour, but the exact details are yet to be confirmed.
One player who was not happy with not being selected was DeChambeau. The American won the LIV Golf tournament in Chicago last week and took the opportunity to express his frustration at Captain Johnson for not selecting him and other players on the tour.
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“If you look at it, it would have been nice to at least just have a call,” DeChambeau is quoted telling Bunkered on Sept. 25. “There are numerous people that I think Zach should have called out here, and we didn’t get that.
“I understand, I get it, but we’re nothing different. We’re still competing. We’re still working super hard to be the best we possibly can be. I don’t know if it was back ended or whatnot. I’m not up to make that discussion available.
“I have no idea what it was or who made that decision, but it would have been nice for them to consider us more because we’re pretty damn good out here.”
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