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Brooks Koepka to LIV players upset at Ryder Cup snubs: ‘Play better’

GUIDONIA MONTCELIO, Italy – Brooks Koepka said there was only one way that his fellow LIV members could have made the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

“Play better,” Koepka said Wednesday at Marco Simone. “That’s always the answer.”

Bryson DeChambeau said he felt snubbed by U.S. captain Zach Johnson and that he at least deserved a call that he hadn’t made the American team. DeChambeau ranked 54th in the final U.S. standings, only accruing points at the major championships because of his affiliation with LIV.

“There’s numerous people that I think Zach should have called out here,” DeChambeau said after his LIV win in Chicago, “and we didn’t get that. I understand, I get it, but we’re nothing different. We’re still competing.”

Dustin Johnson, 40th in the standings, said recently that he likely would have made the team had he played on the PGA Tour while also acknowledging that he didn’t perform well enough in his counting events.

After all, Koepka’s tour of choice didn’t prevent him from making the U.S. team, with Johnson using one of his six captain’s picks on the reigning PGA champion. Koepka was seventh in the team standings.

“I don’t make the decisions,” Koepka said. “Everybody had an opportunity to get there. I had the same opportunity as every other LIV player, and I’m here.”

Koepka admitted that the Ryder Cup wasn’t one of his priorities when he made his decision to jump to LIV last summer – “I had a lot of other things going on in my mind” – but that making the team became a source of motivation once he tied for second at the Masters to rocket up the standings. He was poised to become one of the six automatic qualifiers for the U.S. until the final week of qualification.

Koepka didn’t agree with the sentiment that LIV’s team component might better prepare him for the Ryder Cup: “You’re going to play a round of golf and then the team scores add up at the end – I don’t see how that has really any translation to this format.” Nor did he feel as though he’s representing LIV this week, as the lone representative of the upstart league: “I feel like I’m representing the USA. That’s what I’ve got on the front of my hat this week, so that’s what I’m representing.”

Koepka is the only U.S. team member who played last week, when he tied for 26th at LIV Chicago. It was his third consecutive finish outside the top 25 on that circuit.

“I’m ready to go,” he said. “It’s a big event, so I’ll be there.”