Rory McIlroy on Ryder Cup
Brooks Koepka may have ruffled a few feathers at the PGA Tour whilst on Ryder Cup duty after he convinced four of his USA team-mates to pose in LIV Golf team apparel for a photograph. Five-time major champion Koepka was the only representative from the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV league to play in the Ryder Cup at Rome’s Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, where Team Europe pulled off an emphatic 16.5.11-5 victory to regain the trophy.
The 33-year-old endured a mixed bag of results, tieing his Friday fourballs match before suffering the heaviest defeat in Ryder Cup history when he lost his Saturday foursomes match with Scottie Scheffler 9&7 against Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg.
He would recover to win his singles match on Sunday against rookie Aberg but it could not prevent a memorable win for the Europeans who have not lost on home soil since 1993.
Koepka’s inclusion in Zach Johnson’s side was contentious because of his association with LIV Golf. A number of big-name players who starred at the last Ryder Cup for the USA were snubbed this time around after defecting to the Saudi-backed Tour, including former world No 1 Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
But it is clear that the current US PGA Champion had no trouble settling into the side with his PGA Tour peers, so much so that he even convinced a quartet of them to pose in LIV Golf team wear after the final round on Sunday.
Koepka posted a photo of himself to his Instagram reel on Sunday, flanked by fellow team USA stars Ricke Fowler, Max Homa, Sam Burns and Xander Schauffele, who were all wearing Smash GC t-shirts – the team Koepka captains in LIV Golf.
All four players turned down lucrative contracts to join the breakaway league and instead stayed loyal to the PGA Tour. Koepka captioned his social media post by writing: “I make money moves.”
The bitter feud with LIV took an unexpected twist in the summer when the PGA Tour announced that they had called a truce with the rebel tour and were preparing the ‘framework’ for a merger agreement.
That angered PGA loyalists like Schauffele who felt ‘betrayed’ after staying loyal to the tour despite having the opportunity to earn millions of dollars with LIV.
Speaking to the Sunday Times in June, Schauffele said: “Yeah, I guess [betrayal] would be the charged word. Irony comes to mind as well. From the messages I’ve had, everybody is taking it a bit personally, which is fair, to an extent.
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“I was definitely left in the dark, like most guys, which is frustrating from the transparency side. I thought we were making some headway in that department, but obviously not, because there wasn’t a whole lot of trust in the first place.
“As tour pros, we try to rationalize situations when we compete, but some guys are feeling hot-headed, some are more confused, some are emotional. We have a really interesting group [of players] that are trying to deal with this situation.”
With details of how the two tours will operate alongside each other yet to be confirmed, Koekpa may have already started a charm offensive to try and get a few more major stars to follow his path.
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