From the moment LIV Golf launched with its first tournament at London’s Centurion Club in June 2022 there had been debate over whether some of its players would be considered for the Ryder Cup.
After all, it boasted plenty with experience of the biennial match, from US players Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau to Team Europe legends Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, among others.
Before long, the respective team captains were regularly being asked about the chances of LIV Golf players making their teams.
Team USA captain Zach Johnson appeared to deal a blow to the US LIV Golf rebels as far back as last June. Meanwhile, it was a similar story to Donald, who regularly fielded questions on the chances of European LIV Golf players making the team despite their moves to the controversial circuit.
From Donald’s perspective, things became clearer after the DP World Tour won its legal battle against LIV Golf players in April. Soon after that, many of those who may have been considered resigned from the DP World Tour, effectively ending their chances of selection. However, for Johnson, the issue remained until he finally named his six wildcards.
Despite the huge amount of debate the issue generated, just one LIV Golf player will be competing in the match at Marco Simone.
That honour falls to Brooks Koepka, who is one of Johnson’s wildcards. For much of 2023 it had seemed as though Johnson would not need to make the decision over Koepka. That’s because following a T2 at The Masters and his fifth Major win in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, Koepka was firmly in the running to qualify automatically.
Xander Schauffele eventually pipped Koepka in the final tournament offering qualifying points, leaving the 33-year-old relying on Johnson to pick him. Given how close Koepka had been to automatic qualification, in the end, the decision didn’t seem that controversial.
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman welcomed the move, saying: “Congratulations to Brooks Koepka on a well-deserved honor representing Team USA. His resume speaks for…