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Zach Johnson has revealed why he picked LIV golfer Brooks Koepka for the Ryder Cup this month.

The Team USA captain handed the five-time major champion a wildcard place in his side as part of his controversial captain’s picks.

During a Marco Simone scouting mission, Johnson told the Associated Press it was a team decision.

The 47-year-old said: “The only thing that was said about Brooks with the guys—specifically the top six that made the team on their own merit—was ‘we want Brooks Koepka to play for Team USA’.”

It comes after uncertainty hung over Koepka’s participation, as Johnson kept his cards close to his chest throughout the qualifying schedule.

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After the 33-year-old won the PGA Championship in May, Johnson said it would be ‘premature and irresponsible’ to consider his selection.

He also claimed it was hard to ‘witness what they’re doing and see their form’ on LIV Golf.

Before that, Koepka had finished in a tie for second place at the Masters and has since placed T17 at the U.S. Open and T64 at The Open.

In the end, Koepka was bumped out of the six automatic qualifying spots by Xander Schauffele to sit 7th on the US Ryder Cup standings.

Scottie Scheffler, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark, Patrick Cantlay, and Max Homa filled the other five top spots.

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Johnson then gave his remaining picks to Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, and Jordan Spieth.

Nine of those 12 made the brief trip to the outskirts of Rome, with Cantlay, Spieth, and Schauffele not in attendance.

Johnson said: “The common sentiments that I heard on the golf course was they really liked it, which is awesome.

“The rough was very thick. That was the other nugget that we talked about a lot.

“The putting greens were very good, very true, very nice. The fairways were awesome.

“It’s a great test and it’s a really good match play golf course. So, the guys are excited about the competition.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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