Brooks Koepka to LIV golfers not at Ryder Cup: 'Play better'

GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy -- Brooks Koepka says the LIV Golf hopefuls who missed out on a spot on the United States Ryder Cup team should have played better to force their way into the mix.

Koepka is the only player from LIV competing in this year's Ryder Cup, across both the U.S. and Europe teams. Koepka comes to Rome having won his fifth major at the PGA Championship in May and having tied for second at this year's Masters.

He was one of Zach Johnson's captain's picks, but the inclusion of just Koepka from LIV caused others to express their disappointment at having been overlooked.

Bryson DeChambeau said after his LIV win in Chicago on Sept. 25: "There's numerous people that I think Zach should have called out here, and we didn't get that. I understand, I get it, but we're nothing different. We're still competing."

When Koepka was asked Wednesday at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club whether LIV players had been given a fair chance to qualify for the Ryder Cup team on rankings points, he answered: "I don't make the decisions. It doesn't -- everybody had an opportunity to get there. I mean, I had the same opportunity as every other LIV player, and I'm here.

"Play better. That's always the answer."

With fellow LIV members such as Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell missing out on the Europe side and DeChambeau joining Dustin Johnson in sitting out this year's tournament, Koepka is alone in flying the LIV flag.

But he's not recognizing the significance of that, nor does he feel as if he's representing LIV's interests at the competition.

"I feel like I'm representing the USA," Koepka said. "That's what I've got on the front of my hat this week, so that's what I'm representing. It's not a group of individuals in that locker room. We're just all one team, and that's the way we think. That's what I believe, and I'm pretty sure everybody else there thinks that."

And he also downplayed any notion the LIV Golf format could help make him a better Ryder Cup player.

"I mean, you're just going to play a round of golf and then the team scores add up at the end. I don't see how that has really any translation to this format," Koepka said.

"Yeah, you're in a group setting or, like, a team setting, but other than that, I don't see how it's -- we're not playing alternate shot or best ball I think until Miami in three weeks, and that's just a match play. You can only take care of yourself, so I guess it would be like a Sunday out here."