Despite Brooks Koepka Solidifying His Ryder Cup Spot, U.S. Captain Zach Johnson’s Reticent Confession Leaves Major Room for Uncertainty Around LIV Golf

Published 05/22/2023, 3:43 AM EDT

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The Saudi-backed LIV Golf does not only boost colossal purse events but some of the star golfers from across the world. These big names include Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Cameron Smith, and Bryson DeChambeau. However, due to their shift to the new league, the golfers have failed to earn any OWGR points. This has impacted their overall ranks and jeopardized their participation in the major events of golf.

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As the PGA Championship concludes on the 21st of May 2023, the golf world has centered its attention on the upcoming Ryder Cup. Interestingly, LIV golfers like Brooks Koepka and DeChambeau have been impressing the audience with their performances. This has piqued the curiosity of many regarding their participation in the upcoming team tournament. The key figure to look out for the responsibility of the USA team formation would be Zach Johnson. Although, it appears he still hasn’t made up his mind.

Zach Johnson’s reticent response regarding LIV golfers’ participation in the Ryder Cup

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On Sunday, the PGA Tour veteran Zach Johnson attended the press conference in New York. Most of the questions concerned the LIV golfers’ entry into the American team for the 2023 Ryders Cup. The biennial event would be held in the last week of September at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy. Notably, the player selection for both teams can be divided into two parts. This includes the top-6 players who will directly qualify for the cup and the six players who will be picked by the captain to represent their side.
In his recent press meet, when the 47-year-old captain was asked whether or not a LIV player would have the say if he makes it to the Top-6. He replied with a question of his own and said, “If he makes the top six?” On receiving an affirmation, the golfer added, “Yeah, he’s on the team. He’s got direct ownership in that, absolutely.

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It just might be that one of the LIV players has made a place for himself at the Top-6. After winning his third PGA Championship just a few hours ago, Brooks Koepka has almost consolidated his spot for the Ryders Cup. However, it isn’t this simple.

After Dominating at the Masters, LIV Golf Has the Answers, But Golf Still Has Questions: What Next?

Despite an elegant win at the Oak Hill East Course today, there’s a shadow of uncertainty lurking in the selection of the players from LIV Golf. This also includes the star golfers like Dustin Johnson, who would love to represent the American team. Among all the LIV stars, Koepka holds the highest position in the U.S. Ryder Cup points.

Will LIV golfers be among the Captain’s Pick for the 2023 Ryder Cup?

While on one side the Saudi-funded LIV golfers would love to be the part of American team, on the other end, Captain Johnson doesn’t seem to have made any decisions. When it comes to the captain’s selection for the Ryder Cup, all LIV stars can do is hope to get picked. Regarding the same context, Brooks also shared his thoughts. He said, “It’s tough to be in Zach’s mind or where he is at, but I would love to make it hard on him. I think that would be cool. The only thing I can do is go play good. If I play good, everything takes care of itself.”

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And he has delivered well on that. But it appears that Zach is not in any hurry to make his picks. The USA captain informed the media it is not the right time for the discussion as many events are still left before the Marco Simone event. He mentioned that maybe a few of the guys have come close to the top-6 mark of the automatic qualification from the non-PGA Tour side. But right now, the selection was not on his radar.

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Johnson also added, “I think it’d be premature and almost irresponsible to go into that.” The ambiguous answers leave room for uncertainty where the LIV golfers are concerned. Now, the solid answers to these questions can only be confirmed after the BMW Championship in August. Once the top-6 players have taken their berth and qualified for the 2023 Ryders Cup, Zach would be able to go ahead with his selection.

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Watch this story: ‘Big Stretch There’: Golf Fans Left Fuming As Serious Allegations Over PGA Tour Involving LIV Golf Goes Viral

What do you think of Zach’s tight-lipped confession? Do you think LIV golfers would be able to participate in the Ryders Cup? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by:

Areeba Basharat

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Areeba Basharat is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. She drives inspiration from the women players at the LPGA who've taken the sport to a level that allows female golfers to flourish and thrive with grace. Areeba defines her love for the sport by quoting legend, Michelle Wie West : "The first time I grabbed a golf club, I knew that I would do it for the rest of my life."
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu

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