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‘Simple manner’ why Bryson DeChambeau not in Ryder Cup, says captain Zach Johnson

ROME – Bryson DeChambeau stirred the Ryder Cup debate after winning his second LIV Golf event in as many months on Sunday, saying that he believes there are “numerous” players on the breakaway tour who should be competing in Rome this week.

As it is, American Brooks Koepka is the lone LIV Golf representative. The five-time Major winner did fall out of an automatic spot on the United States team just before the end of the qualifying period, but earned one of Zach Johnson’s six captain’s picks.

DeChambeau believes he is among others who should have received spots.

“If you look at it, it would have been nice to at least just have a call. There’s numerous people that I think Zach should have called out here, and we didn’t get that,” he said after his win outside Chicago on Sunday.

“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.”

From the sound of it, Koepka was the only LIV Golf player Johnson ultimately considered. The captain was asked on Monday why he did not call on DeChambeau and other Ryder Cup veterans such as Dustin Johnson.

“Yeah, I can answer all of those in a very simple manner,” he said. “We kept a tally of – we have a points system within The PGA of America, within the Ryder Cup USA. It’s pretty evident... how you garner points and which tournaments can accumulate points.

“I have my own probably a top 30 but when it got down towards the end of the process, it was the top 20, the top 25 guys in that point system that I felt like had the merit and certainly should have my full attention. That’s where I was. I was basically in the top 20, top 25 guys in points when it came down to formulating this Team USA.”

Koepka finished seventh in the US Ryder Cup standings, with No. 15 Justin Thomas the lowest-ranked player to receive a captain’s pick.

With only the four Majors to accumulate Ryder Cup points in, Dustin Johnson finished 40th and DeChambeau 54th.

The former has fallen to 114th in the Official World Golf Ranking while the latter is 128th. Talor Gooch, another multiple-time LIV winner, finished 89th in the Ryder Cup standings and is now 167th in the world.

DeChambeau, who is a combined 2-3-1 in two previous Ryder Cup appearances, said he hopes the qualification system will be different when the event returns to the US in New York two years from now.

“Brooks is obviously going to kill it for Team USA and I’m excited for the team, but yeah, it definitely does sting a little bit,” he added. “Say what you want, we’re still golfers, and I personally think that given the way I played this week, I could have definitely racked up some points for Team USA.

“Hopefully I’ll be in line for it in a couple years.” REUTERS