Ryder Cup: LIV Golf players ‘technically eligible’ for US team says captain Zach Johnson


US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson could select players from the LIV Golf circuit, including Brooks Koepka, who won the PGA Championship in May; Watch the Ryder Cup live on Sky Sports from September 29-October 1 in Rome

        Ryder Cup: LIV Golf players 'technically eligible' for US team says captain Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson will captain the US team at the 2023 Ryder Cup for the first time

Zach Johnson has suggested LIV Golf players are “technically” eligible to join the United States Ryder Cup team.

Despite the recent thawing of relations between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf, players from the Saudi circuit have only been able to pick up points at the majors to earn qualification points.

LIV golfers who were suspended indefinitely by the PGA and DP World Tour will be able to re-apply for membership from the end of the 2023 season.

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The 2023 Ryder Cup takes place live on Sky Sports Golf between from September 29 and October 1 in Rome.

“What’s transpiring in professional golf from a competitive level, competition level, is PGA Tour; right?” Johnson said.

“It’s not PGA of America. So the individuals that are Americans that play on other tours that are not the PGA Tour, they could play, I mean, technically the Latin Tour or the Asian Tour or wherever.

“More times than not they’re going to be members of the PGA of America for a number of reasons. Our liability insurance is number one and some other benefits.”

        Ryder Cup: LIV Golf players 'technically eligible' for US team says captain Zach Johnson

Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir explains the implications of the merger between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf.

Although he didn’t outwardly come out and say LIV Golf members were welcome on Team USA, Johnson made it clear that nothing was barring them from securing a spot on the squad.

“These guys that left the PGA Tour that had status and left to play on that other tour, the LIV Tour, they’re still members of the PGA of America, so they are still able to garner points,” Johnson said. “They’re able to play in the PGA Championship as a result because that’s what the PGA of America runs. Obviously, technically, they can still be a part of Team USA.”

        Ryder Cup: LIV Golf players 'technically eligible' for US team says captain Zach Johnson

Rory McIlroy says Brooks Koepka deserves to be on the United States team for the Ryder Cup but his feelings are different for the European players on the LIV tour.

Johnson: Koepka has ‘really good chance’ of making team

Brooks Koepka, who is ranked 12th on the Official World Golf Ranking and won the 2023 PGA Championship after finishing tied for second at the Masters, has been backed by Rory McIlroy for a place in the US team.

Johnson has admitted Koepka is a player he’s keeping an eye on when it comes to selection.

        Ryder Cup: LIV Golf players 'technically eligible' for US team says captain Zach Johnson

Brooks Koepka could be in the US Ryder Cup team despite being on the LIV circuit

“Brooks is third on the list. The top six earn their berth after the BMW Championship in mid-August in Chicago. So after that Sunday the top six are solidified, and then we make our six picks,” said Johnson. The next week is the Tour Championship. The Tuesday after the Tour Championship is when I make the picks.

“We’ll formulate 12 by then, but he has worked his way to second after the PGA Championship because of how well he played at the Masters and at the PGA Championship, the majors kind of last year too, but they were smaller in points, he has a really good chance of making the team, earning his way on the team, which is extremely impressive.”


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