MIAMI: Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson says jumping from the PGA Tour to Saudi-backed LIV Golf cost him a spot on this year’s US Ryder Cup team.
Johnson, who went 5-0 for the Americans in a Ryder Cup rout of Europe two years ago at Whistling Straits, told the Palm Beach Post he felt he played well enough this year to earn a captain’s pick from Zach Johnson.
Dustin Johnson AFP PHOTO
“If I [had been] playing on [the PGA Tour], yeah, I would have made the team,” Johnson told the newspaper. “Do I think I can help the US team? Absolutely.”
Johnson, the 2016 US Open and 2020 Masters champion, won last year’s LIV Golf season crown. He won this year’s LIV Tulsa title in May but struggled in three of the four majors while placing 10th at the US Open.
“I would love to be a part of the team, but to be honest, I haven’t really played that well this year,” Johnson said.
“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.”
US captain Zach Johnson did select LIV’s Brooks Koepka for his American squad after his fifth major title in May at the PGA Championship and Masters runner-up effort, but fell out of a guaranteed spot on the last day of qualifying.
Johnson, 39, joined LIV for its opening event in June 2022 and won $35 million in the upstart circuit’s first campaign, but has managed only five top-10s in LIV events this year.
LIV players were banned from US PGA Tour events, so the only time Johnson has faced top PGA rivals this year has been at majors.
Johnson has played on five US Ryder Cup teams, also helping a US triumph in 2016.
Johnson said he spoke to Zach Johnson at majors this year and told him of his desire to play on Zach’s team.
Asked if he had considered LIV players, Zach Johnson has said they had a chance and there was “a guy on the team” in Koepka who “had that opportunity and seized it.”