Brooks Koepka ‘deserves’ to participate in the Ryder Cup, but not Europe’s LIV Golf stars, according to Rory McIlroy.
Rory McIlroy believes Brooks Koepka “deserves” to participate in the Ryder Cup, but the Northern Irishman is remains opposed to Europe’s LIV Golf stars competing.
European LIV players who have left the DP World Tour are unable to compete in this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome.
However, their American counterparts, such as five-time major winner and current US PGA champion Koepka, can still compete.
“I certainly think Brooks deserves to be on the United States team,” McIlroy, 34, said.
“I think with how he’s played – he’s second in the US standings, [having] only played two counting events.”
Despite fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia’s decision to join the Saudi-funded LIV Tour, world number two Jon Rahm stated this week that the Ryder Cup should feature “the best of Europe and the United States.”
The 44th edition of the biennial event begins on September 29.
After finishing in a tie for second at the Masters in April – behind Rahm – and winning his third US PGA Championship earlier this month, Koepka is certain to gain a spot on the US team, with McIlroy in a tie for seventh.
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“I’m not sure if there’s anyone else on the LIV roster who would make the team based on merit and performance,” McIlroy continued.
“But I have mixed feelings about the European team and the other side, and how everything has played out.” “I don’t think any of those guys belong on the European team.”
An arbitration tribunal sided with the European-based tour in its legal struggle against 12 players who had appealed being fined £100,000 and barred from competing in LIV Golf’s debut event at the Centurion Club near London in June 2022 without authorization.
Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Richard Bland resigned from the DP World Tour as a result, with all but Garcia having paid the £100,000 punishment.
Henrik Stenson, who joined LIV in 2022 after being fired as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, followed suit this month when the tour imposed additional punishments on 26 players who competed in LIV events without consent.