Brooks Koepka narrowly missed earning an automatic bid to join the U.S. team in the Ryder Cup this fall, something that seemed almost impossible initially after his jump to LIV Golf last year.
Koepka was just barely knocked out of the top six in the Ryder Cup standings last week. He finished seventh, only 29 points back from Xander Schauffele. Koepka will now need to be selected by Zach Johnson, who will announce his six captain’s picks next week, in order to make the team.
While there have been plenty of issues between LIV Golf and PGA Tour members in the past, it sounds like Koepka’s presence on the team would be a welcome one.
“I think he was 30 points shy? Which is, I think it was the equivalent of like $30,000 throughout the year,” Scottie Scheffler said Wednesday at the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. “So if he played one tournament on Tour, I think he probably would have been on the team.”
That right there is the issue for Koepka and others who left for LIV Golf. The only way for Koepka to earn Ryder Cup points — or Official World Golf Rankings points, for that matter — is through PGA Tour events or the four major championships. Koepka is suspended from playing on Tour. While he finished second at the Masters in April and won the PGA Championship a month later, Koepka finished T17 at the U.S. Open and T64 at the British Open.
Even though his finishes at the first two major championships of the year skyrocketed him up the Ryder Cup standings, it has been a slow decline ever since.
Koepka has played in three Ryder Cups for the United States. He holds a 7-6-1 record in the event and went 2-2-0 the last time out at Whistling Straits in 2021.
“He’s right there,” said Brian Harman, who won the British Open and qualified for the team for the first time on points.
“I think he would be a pretty good addition to the team. I’m not totally familiar with his record in Ryder Cups, but the experience would certainly help, especially considering there’s probably going to be a fair amount of rookies over there.”
The Ryder Cup is set to start Sept. 29 from the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club outside of Rome. The Americans haven’t won on European soil since 1993. Johnson will announce his captain’s picks Tuesday following the Tour Championship. Jordan Spieth, Cameron Young, Collin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns and Rickie Fowler are the six golfers who finished behind Koepka in the standings.
“The goal of the Ryder Cup is to win, so whoever Zach thinks that can help us win the Ryder Cup, I think, needs to be on the team,” Harman said.
European team qualification runs through Sept. 3. Captain Luke Donald will then announce his six captain’s picks to round out that team. Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland have all earned spots on the team already.