Ryder Cup 2023: ‘A very simple manner’—Zach Johnson explains why Bryson DeChambeau never received a call

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ROME — Although he was 54th on the final U.S. Ryder Cup points list, Bryson DeChambeau felt snubbed by captain Zach Johnson. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t earn one of Johnson’s six wildcard picks; it was the perceived slight of not even receiving a phone call from the American skipper.

After winning his second event in three starts Sunday at the LIV Golf Chicago tournament, DeChambeau was asked about how well he is playing and his level of disappointment in missing the 44th Ryder Cup that begins Friday at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club.

“Yeah, definitely, I am playing better than Winged Foot,” said DeChambeau, who won the 2020 U.S. Open on Winged Foot’s West Course. “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. 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.”

DeChambeau, who turned 30 eight days ago, was a member of the U.S. team that pummeled Europe, 19-9, at Whistling Straits. He went 2-0-1 and beat Sergio Garcia in singles, 3 and 2, after driving the green and making eagle at the par-4 first hole on the Straits Course. He does, however, have a losing record in his Ryder Cup career after going 0-3-0 during America’s 2018 loss in Paris.

Still, he felt that he, and a few others who play in the LIV Golf League—Dustin Johnson, who went 5-0 in Wisconsin, being the most obvious omission—should have gotten a bit more consideration.

“I can answer all of those in a very simple manner,” Zach Johnson said Monday during the first captains’ press conference with European counterpart Luke Donald. “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 basically, you know, I kept at one point … my own probably 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, well, 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.”

Because he joined the LIV Golf League, DeChambeau was not eligible to compete on the PGA Tour and collected points in the U.S. team standings in just four events—the four major championships. His best efforts were T-4 at the PGA Championship and T-20 at the U.S. Open. Dustin Johnson, by the way, was 40th on the points list.

The LIV player who did get Johnson’s attention, of course, was Brooks Koepka, who won the PGA Championship and was runner-up at the Masters. The five-time major winner, who went 2-2 at Whistling Straits, was inside the top six in the standings and in line to receive an automatic spot until the last week of qualifying at the BMW Championship. Johnson, nevertheless, made Koepka, seventh in the U.S. standings, a captain’s pick.

“Brooks is obviously going to kill it for Team USA next week and excited for the team,” said DeChambeau, whose longtime running feud with Koepka has mostly subsided while they compete on the LIV tour. “But, yeah, it definitely does sting a little bit [to miss the Ryder Cup.] I personally think that given the way I played this week, I could have definitely racked up some points for Team USA. But that’s neither here nor there. As time has gone on, hopefully I’ll be in line for it in a couple years.”

Whether LIV golfers from either side eventually are welcomed back into the fold is a burning question for the future. It could be a tough call.

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