Dustin Johnson believes he deserved a place on the United States Ryder Cup team after being left out ahead of this month’s event in Rome. Johnson was one of a number of LIV Golf stars hoping to make Team USA ahead of their title defence, but only one was given the nod, Brooks Koepka.
The likes of Johnson, Patrick Reed, and Talor Gooch all missed out on a spot, with the former Masters champion’s namesake Zach Johnson opting to go with a PGA Tour-heavy team as captain. On the back of his omission, Johnson believes he would have been given a spot if he was still playing his golf on the PGA Tour – even below his best
He told Golfweek: “I would love to be a part of the team. But to be honest, I haven’t really played that well this year. But have I played well enough to be on the team? Yeah. I didn’t have the best year. Was it good enough to make the team? I think so.
“If I would have been playing on [the PGA Tour], yeah, I would have made the team. Do I think I can help the US team? Absolutely.” Johnson’s 2023 snub means he will miss the Ryder Cup for only the second time since his debut back in 2010.
The American’s only other absence came in 2014 when the 4Aces captain opted to take time away from the golf courses due to “personal challenges”. Johnson himself admitted that his form in 2023 has not been up to the high standard he has shown throughout his professional career.
However, he appears to feel the experience he bodes in the matchplay event would have been of use to the 2023 team. Just two years earlier, the LIV Golf star was the starring man in Team USA’s record-breaking 19-9 victory over the Europeans at Whistling Straits.
Johnson played in all five sessions in Wisconsin and won all five matches, as well as being named the event’s inaugural Nicklaus-Jacklin award winner alongside fellow LIV star Sergio Garcia. The award was handed out to those who “best embody the spirit” of the Ryder Cup, and the iconic concession handed to Jacklin by Nicklaus back in 1969.
Two years on, both recipients have since made high-profile moves to the Saudi-backed league and arguably the two biggest omissions at this year’s Ryder Cup. Like Johnson, Garcia is a stalwart of the event and holds the record for most points won by a player in Ryder Cup history.