ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Zach Johnson was squarely focused on his own golf game during the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship, finishing an uneven day with a 71, one that included five birdies, four bogeys and a double on No. 17. Although he survived the cut, Johnson struggled to a 10-over 290 through four days at Oak Hill Country Club.
But Johnson is also taking notice of the field, as the selection process for the 2023 Ryder Cup is fast approaching and he’s handling his first tour of duty as the U.S. team captain.
When asked if he would attend a LIV Golf event to scout prospective players, Johnson implied that he would not. And then, when asked where he watches the upstart golf series, the Iowa native offered a subtle if unintended snub to the network broadcasts.
Here’s how the exchange with the reporter went:
Q. Do you get the CW … to watch their broadcast or YouTube?
ZACH JOHNSON: CW?
Q. That’s where it’s on television?
ZACH JOHNSON: I didn’t know that. I do get to see it — I have to ask my kids. I think I get the CW.
As for the team he needs to help build, six players automatically qualify through a point system that would require LIV players to win at least one or more majors to be in the running. Johnson will have six picks to round out the rest of the team and noted that he would rely heavily on input from the six qualifiers.
When asked about Koepka, who opened the day at Oak Hill in the lead and then promptly birdied three of the first four holes to take a commanding lead, Johnson said he’s always been impressed with the Florida State product’s resolve.
“Look at his résumé prior to this week. He’s an amazing player,” Johnson said about Koepka. “What I appreciate about Brooks is just how he goes about his work in massive tournaments. He’s a rare breed mentally where he just is able to bring out his best in the most difficult and trying of circumstances.”
Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau all have Ryder Cup experience and because LIV players paid their membership dues before June 30, 2022, they retain their PGA of America membership through the end of June 2023 and then through a grace period that runs through the end of June 2024. That means each could be eligible for selection to the team.
Johnson said he’s taking chemistry into consideration when considering his half-dozen picks.
“I mentioned chemistry. I don’t think I mentioned character,” Johnson said. “So take that in context. I mean,…
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