U.S. Captain Zach Johnson selected Koepka as one of his captain’s picks on Tuesday.
“When it came to Koepka, his experience, his temperament, his passion for the Ryder Cup all spoke volumes,” Johnson said.
“He and I have communicated a lot over the past few months. We have had great discussions, very candid discussions, and when he started to make his way onto this team—the way I see it, he basically earned his way onto the team when you get down to the pennies and dollars of it, it was a pretty easy pick.”
Along with his victory in Rochester, Koepka finished in a tie for second at The Masters in April. He has undoubtedly been one of the best 12 American players this season, regardless of tour.
Yet, somewhat ironically, Phil Mickelson shot a 7-under 65 during the final round of The Masters, which tied Koepka at the end of play. Each player then received $1,584,000 in prize money.
If he had finished solo 2nd, Koepka would have earned $1,944,000.
And since Ryder Cup points were predicated on total earnings, Koepka earned only 2,376 points at Augusta National instead of 2,916 points.
Then, months later, following the BMW Championship, which marked the end of automatic qualifying for the U.S. team, Koepka finished 29 points shy of Xander Schauffele, who claimed the sixth and final automatic qualifying spot.
But that does not matter now, as Koepka will be part of 12 players representing the red, white, and blue at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy, next month.
“What figured in my decision-making was trying to pick six gentlemen that made six guys that earned their way, whole, meaning they are all one-twelfth of the team,” Johnson added. “These guys are not ranked. They are all a part of the team, equally.”
Interestingly, Johnson made waves not by selecting someone from the LIV tour, but by also selecting Justin Thomas. The two-time major winner has had a really poor season, shooting career lows and missing the cut at a couple majors.
Yet, Johnson said after the announcement of the team that was also an easy selection for him.
What are your thoughts on either JT or Brooks being on Team USA? Let us know in the comments below.