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Major Rift in the US Squad? As Chaos Ensues Over Brooks Koepka’s Noticeable Absence, Team US Captain Rushes to Douse the Rumors

Published 09/26/2023, 7:18 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

As the Ryder Cup takes the main stage in the golf realm, preparations for the same have been at their peak. Players have already arrived in Rome for the weekend and are testing the Italian grounds to claim the win. With the event happening in Europe this year, all eyes have been on Team America, considering it’s been decades since they last won the event on European grounds.

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As the players get ready for the matchplay, a lot of BTS has been shared by the starring teams and the PGA Tour associates. Recently, a picture was posted on Instagram by the PGA Tour, and player Brooks Koepka was missing from the scene. While speculations quickly arose considering the controversy surrounding his being a LIV golfer, the Team USA skipper was quick to jump in.

Why was Brooks Koepka missing from Team USA’s picture?


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After the PGA Tour’s post on Instagram, fans were questioning why Brooks Koepka was missing from the team picture. Koepka, who scored an addition to the team after winning the PGA Championship and returned as a runner-up for the Masters, is the only one out of the LIV Golf League players who made it to this year’s Ryder Cup.

On Sunday, before the game in Rome, the team captains, Luke Donal and Zack Johnson, sat for a press conference. They answered a multitude of questions related to the Ryder Cup, including the teams’ journey to the event, the challenges of playing in Europe, the role of individual players, and the importance of preparation and team dynamics.


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When asked about why Brooks Koepka was missing from the team picture posted earlier, Captain Johnson explained that it was all because of a travel situation. “Given time constraints… it seemed it was best that Brooks meet us here,” he stated. “For him to fly from Chicago to Atlanta and for us to wait [for] him and go, we would have got in a lot later. I don’t think it was even feasible. So he met us here. But he was here two weeks ago with us during our practice session.”

Koepka, who has just returned from his matchplay in Chicago, has arguably been in the center of the international event’s spotlight for a while now. The majority of it, of course, has been talks relating to his playing on the Saudi Tour. And with the likes of even the Ryder Cup assistant captain having an anti-LIV mindset, it was bound to float controversy.

Koepka, the talk of the golf town, behest of the Ryder Cup veteran


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The LIV Golf Critic, Fred Couples, is serving as the vice captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup. Known for his PGA Tour loyalist mentality, the golf veteran recently even spoke about it in an interview with CNBC’s Closing Bell. He shared his thoughts on LIV Golf and why he disapproves of it.

In the interview, Couples stated that he was loyal to the PGA Tour and did not appreciate the way some players made negative comments about the PGA Tour after joining LIV Golf. During the conversation, despite his dislike for the Saudi Tour, Couples bought Koepka into the conversation and had a few good words about the only LIV Ryder Cup star.


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It remains to be seen if Koepka will bring LIV glory to the international face-off. Tune in to find out if he can!

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Written by:

Maheen Sajjad


One take at a time

Maheen Sajjad is a golf writer at EssentiallySports. Having blazed through the ranks of the ES recruitment drive, Maheen has turned heads with her journalistic endeavor, which put her on the pedestal as an Editor for her college newsletter. Her journey into the world of golf began in the cozy confines of her home, where she watched her grandfather's weekend golf games.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira