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Dustin Johnson shares theory for why he was left off Ryder Cup team

Dustin Johnson smiling

Sep 15, 2020; Mamaroneck, New York, USA; Dustin Johnson smiles on the eleventh green during a practice round for the 2020 U.S. Open golf tournament at Winged Foot Golf Club – West. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Johnson helped the United States defeat Europe at the Ryder Cup two years ago with a dominant performance, but it was not enough to earn him a spot on the 2023 U.S. team. The two-time major champion feels there is one obvious reason for that.

Johnson told Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday that he believes he would have been chosen by Zach Johnson as a Ryder Cup captain’s pick if he were still a member of the PGA Tour.

“If I would have been playing on [the PGA Tour], yeah, I would have made the team,” Johnson said. “Do I think I can help the U.S. team? Absolutely.”

Johnson has five top-10 finishes this season. He struggled in majors, however, finishing tied for 10th at the U.S. Open and outside of the top 40 at he Masters, PGA Championship and Open Championship. While he acknowledged that his play was part of the reason he did not get a Ryder Cup nod, Johnson thinks his decision to sign with LIV over a year ago is the biggest factor.

“I would love to be a part of the team,” he added. “But to be honest, I haven’t really played that well this year. But have I played well enough to be on the team? Yeah. I didn’t have the best year. Was it good enough to make the team? I think so. … But like I said, I didn’t play quite well enough, especially not being on the tour, I needed to really play well.”

Brooks Koepka, another LIV star, was chosen by Zach Johnson as one of the six captain’s selections for Rome. Koepka won the PGA Championship this year and finished tied for second at the Masters.

Johnson is probably right that he would have been chosen if he were still playing on the PGA Tour. Past success has always been a big factor for captains when making picks, and Johnson went 5-0 at Whistling Straits two years ago. The 39-year-old also played on the 2010, 2012, 2016 and 2018 Ryder Cup teams, so he has extensive experience.

There has already been some LIV-related trash talk leading up to the Ryder Cup, but golfers from LIV and the PGA Tour are going to have to call themselves teammates for the event. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.


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