Premature to talk about LIV players: Ryder Cup captain

·2-min read

US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson believes it would be "irresponsible and extremely inappropriate" to attend LIV Golf events to assess the form of potential team members.

American players remain eligible for the biennial contest despite being banned or resigning from the PGA Tour in the wake of joining the Saudi-funded circuit.

Asked ahead of the PGA Championship how much he had thought about LIV players making the team, Johnson said it was "not even a discussion item".

The two-time major winner also stressed he would not be placing too much importance on Brooks Koepka's runners-up finish in the Masters, or the fact that Dustin Johnson won the most recent LIV event in Tulsa.

And even with Koepka on his way to victory in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, Johnson admitted he did not know if a fifth major title would take Koepka into the six automatic qualifying places for the US team for Rome.

"I have no idea based on the numbers but it would vault him up substantially," Johnson said after his own final round of 71.

Asked if he would be comfortable with having LIV players on his team, Johnson said: "I think it's too premature and frankly irresponsible to even have any opinion about that.

"There's a lot of points (left), you've got a bunch of elevated events and if you go back in history there's probably names on both tours that we're not even mentioning that could have a chance.

"The guys that are on the PGA Tour that make that team, they have direct ownership in that team, collectively.

"So for me to stand here and say I would be comfortable or uncomfortable with it would be selfish on my behalf because it's not my team."

Johnson said he does receive statistics from LIV events but was incredulous when asked if he would attend one to see at first-hand how the likes of Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau were playing.

"You're expecting me to go to LIV events and spectate?" he said.

"I think the luxury of me being captain is that I'm still relevant and prevalent out on the PGA Tour and that's where my (playing) status holds, so for me to abandon that for a week, where the bulk of my players are going to come from, would be irresponsible on my behalf and extremely inappropriate."