Five-time major champion Brooks Koepka is going to need help to compete for the United States in the upcoming Ryder Cup in Italy.
Koepka, who left the PGA Tour for the rival LIV Golf League in June 2022, is not among the six automatic qualifiers who made the U.S. team after Sunday’s BMW Championship outside Chicago.
Koepka, who tied for second at the Masters in April and won his third PGA Championship the next month, entered the week fifth in Ryder Cup points. But he fell to seventh on Sunday after Max Homa and Xander Schauffele tied for fifth and eighth, respectively, in the BMW Championship.
World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler and U.S. Open winner Wyndham Clark had already qualified for the Ryder Cup team on points. Open Championship winner Brian Harman, Patrick Cantlay, Homa and Schauffele joined them on Sunday.
“Yeah, it’s definitely a goal,” Schauffele said Sunday. “You don’t really want to sit around and wait for the phone call. Been on both sides of it, to be completely honest, for a Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup team. I can’t remember which one was a pick, which one was not. But I remember getting a call saying no and a call saying yes. It’s nice to automatically qualify.”
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson will make six captain’s picks on Aug. 29 after next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Koepka was second in the Ryder Cup standings after finishing runner-up at the Masters and winning his third Wanamaker Trophy. Then he tied for 17th in the U.S. Open and 64th at the Open Championship. Players aren’t receiving Ryder Cup points for their finishes in LIV Golf League tournaments.
Johnson could still use one of his captain’s choices on Koepka, who recovered from a career-threatening knee injury to win his fifth career major at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, in May.
Johnson has been noncommittal when asked if he’d select LIV Golf League players for the team that will compete against Europe at Marco Simone Golf Club outside Rome on Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
“I’m going to be fully transparent,” Johnson told the Golf.com podcast “Subpar” earlier this month. “It’s hard because I’m not able to witness what they’re doing and see their form, with the exception of four events a year. What Brooks has done this year, well no one’s surprised. I’m just glad he’s healthy.”