Locked in a three-way battle with Cameron Smith and Talor Gooch to become the 2023 LIV Golf Individual Champion, Bryson DeChambeau will have his shot at the title during the upstart circuit’s penultimate event this year in Jeddah at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on October 13-15.
DeChambeau, who notched his second win of the season on Sunday at LIV Golf Chicago and now has 146 points but is still trailing Smith (170 points) and Gooch (162 points), won’t have a chance to help Team USA at the Ryder Cup this weekend in Rome because he was left off of the team by captain Zach Johnson. Brooks Koepka, who won the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, got the nod over DeChambeau and was one of Johnson’s captain’s picks. Speaking after his win in Chicago, DeChambeau admitted he was not all that pleased.
“If you look at it, it would have been nice to at least just have a call,” DeChambeau said about the selection process. “There are numerous people that I think [Johnson] should have called out here, and [us LIV golfers] didn’t get that. I understand. I get it, but we’re nothing different. We’re still competing. We’re still working super hard to be the best we possibly can be. Brooks is obviously going to kill it for Team USA next week, and I am excited about the team, but yeah, it definitely does sting a little bit. But say what you want, we’re still golfers, and I think that given how I played this week, I could have racked up some points for Team USA.”
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Though he didn’t mention DeChambeau, who made appearances for Team USA in 2018 and 2021, Koepka appeared to take a little bit of a shot at his old rival and current LIV colleague at a press conference in Rome ahead of the Ryder Cup teeing off on Friday. Asked if he thought Johnson’s selection process for the team was fair, Koepka had a fairly simple message.
“I don’t make the decisions,” he said. “Everybody had an opportunity to get there. I mean, I had the same opportunity as every other LIV player and I’m here. Play better. That’s always the answer.”
Another one of 24 players from the U.S. and Europe who will be competing later this week at Marco Simone Country Club, Rory McIlroy, didn’t go after DeChambeau but left little doubt about how he feels about the LIV golfers who were left off the European Ryder Cup squad because they are members of the Saudi-backed tour.
“This week of all weeks, it’s going to hit home with them that they are not here and I think they are going to miss being here more than we’re missing them,” McIlroy said. “I think this week is a realization that the decision that they made has led to not being a part of this week and that’s tough.”
It’s too bad for European LIVers like Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson that they won’t be at the Ryder Cup, but they have really big piles of Saudi money to help them dry their tears.