DUBLIN, Ohio – Arguably the loudest endorsement for Brooks Koepka to be on this year’s US Ryder Cup team came from the American side’s biggest opponent in the biennial matches.
“I certainly think Brooks deserves to be on the United States team,” Rory McIlroy said Wednesday at the Memorial. “I think with how he’s played, I mean, he’s second in the US standings, only played two counting events. I don’t know if there’s anyone else on the LIV roster that would make the team on merit and how they’re playing. But Brooks is definitely a guy that I think deserves to be on the US team.”
Koepka, who was suspended last year by the PGA Tour for joining LIV Golf and violating the circuit’s conflicting-event release policy, won the PGA Championship two weeks ago and finished runner-up at the Masters to move to second on the US Ryder Cup points art. Although he could still fall out of the top 6 automatic qualifiers when the team is set in August, it seems likely he’ll be a member of captain Zach Johnson’s team in Rome.
McIlroy, however, was not at all supportive of any LIV Golf members playing on this year’s European Ryder Cup team.
“I have different feelings about the European team and the other side and sort of how that has all transpired. I don’t think any of those guys should be a part of the European team,” McIlroy said.
Many of the top Europeans who joined LIV Golf – including Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood – have resigned their membership on the DP World Tour, which is required to play for Europe at the Ryder Cup. Those players had been fined by the European tour for violating its conflicting-event release rules when they joined LIV Golf.