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#pounditTuesday, March 21, 2023

Zach Johnson issues warning for LIV golf defectors

Zach Johnson smiling

September 22, 2021; Haven, Wisconsin, USA; Team USA vice-captain Zach Johnson poses for a photo during a practice round for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

United States Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson gave a warning to LIV golfers Thursday about their potential status for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Johnson spoke to reporters Thursday ahead of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. He implied that the Saudi-backed league’s defectors may not be able to participate in the 2023 Ryder Cup.

“So what I know is this: In order to play on the Ryder Cup team whether you’re top-six or a pick, you must garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America,” Johnson said. “In order to garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America, you have to be a member of the PGA of America. The way that we’re members of the PGA of America is through the PGA Tour. I’ll let you connect the dots from there.”

Johnson, a two-time major winner, has pledged his support for the PGA Tour. Some golfers have gone back on their initial commitments to the Tour and joined LIV.

The Tour has banned all golfers who have signed with LIV from competing in Tour events, including three members of the 2021 United States Ryder Cup team: Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson.

Johnson finished the first round of the John Deere Classic Thursday tied for 32nd place at 2-under par.

The 2023 Ryder Cup is scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio near Rome.


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