Days After Extending an Olive Branch to LIV Golf With His Brooks Koepka Pick, Team US Captain Spills the Beans on Squad Dynamics

Published 09/09/2023, 10:48 AM EDT

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If you recall Ryder Cup 2018, you’d remember how the US team suffered a setback because of playing in a course that was unfamiliar to them. The European team was more accustomed on the French course, Le Golf National, Albatros Course.

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This time the US team is looking to gain familiarity much before the event. They recently landed in Rome and had time to practice at the Marco Simone to get the feel. Captain Zach Johnson discussed the team atmosphere and clarified certain things regarding the rapport between the players.  

Zach Johnson discusses team members’ stand on having Brooks Koepka on the team

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While most of the US team members were there at Marco Simone, three players could not make it as per the captain. Zach Johnson said that “Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay have family matters that definitely supersede what we’re doing”.

Johnson spoke about how Brooks Koepka’s place in the team was never debated. He strongly emphasized that all the team members wanted Koepka on the team. “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’,” Johnson said.

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Zach Johnson overall seemed happy about the team’s chemistry. He praised the team members for the same. “These guys have done a great job of bonding together.” Adding to team rapport, Johnson also mentioned how Justin Thomas is getting along in the mix amicably. 

 

The assurance about Koepka being welcomed with many smiles into the team is rather important. There were many accusations that claimed that LIV golfers were sidelined from the Captain’s picks despite deserving to be on the team. 

‘The Boys’: Golf Fans Ooze With Excitement as Team USA Get Ready for Claiming Their Patriotic Dream On Foreign Soil

Since a lot of discussion has happened around the same, here is a short recap of what you need to know in regard to LIV golfers and Ryder Cup opportunity for them.

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LIV golfers and the Ryder Cup selection process

The European Ryder Cup team outright refrained from picking LIV golfers into the team, as per policy. Whereas the US team had the provisions to pick LIV golfers into the team as well. There were several pick-worthy players who were a part of the previous Ryder Cup. 

The names include Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson primarily. Of these players, none of them made it into the top six positions on the Ryder Cup points table. They did not have enough points as they no longer had a PGA Tour membership. 

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Koepka was right at the border, with his seventh position, and had no justifiable reason for exclusion despite all the mess between the two tours, even after the merger. Considering all this, it makes sense that Zach Johnson wants to flaunt his team’s unity. It surely instills confidence in the fans. What do you think are the odds of the US team bagging the cup this time again? Tell us in the comments! 

Watch this story | Hours After Husband Brooks Koepka’s Departure to Rome, Jena Sims Mesmerized Her Fans With an Update on Six Weeks Old Crew

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Written by:

Vignesh K

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Vignesh joined EssentiallySports as a writer through the latest 'ES Draft' recruits. Even though he is just starting out, Vignesh has gone on to prove himself to be one of the most promising writers in golf. His passion for the sport is often reflected in his writing, especially when it comes to anything with LPGA star Charley Hull.
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Edited by:

Prateek Srivastava

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