Rory McIlroy ‘certainly thinks’ LIV rebel Brooks Koepka deserves to be on the US Ryder Cup team

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Rory McIlroy ‘certainly thinks’ LIV rebel Brooks Koepka deserves to be on the US Ryder Cup team after his PGA Championship win – but DOESN’T offer the same backing to fellow Europeans

  • Brooks Koepka rose to second in the American Ryder Cup standings last week
  • Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Co. are ineligible for Europe after defecting to LIV
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

Rory McIlroy claimed Brooks Koepka belongs in the USA’s Ryder Cup team off the back of his PGA Championship win but the Northern Irishman offered a different stance on his fellow Europeans. 

There has been great debate on whether Koepka should be eligible for Zach Johnson’s team to face Europe in September due to his defection to LIV Golf. 

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But with a tied-second at The Masters and a PGA Championship win to clinch his fifth major, the 33-year-old vaulted up the American Ryder Cup standings to second with 1,537 points more than third-place Xander Schauffele.

The top six players on the points list after the Tour Championship, qualify for the team for the biennial tournament. 

And McIlroy, who has been a leader in the backlash against LIV Golf, surprisingly advocated for Koepka to be a part of his rivals’ team. 

Rory McIlroy (pictured) claimed Brooks Koepka belongs in the USA's Ryder Cup team

Brooks Koepka stands second the American Ryder Cup standings after his PGA Championship win

Rory McIlroy (left) claimed Brooks Koepka (right) belongs in the USA’s Ryder Cup team

‘I certainly think Brooks Koepka deserves to be on the US (Ryder Cup) team,’ he said ahead of the Memorial this week, via Dan Rapaport. 

Yet, despite his support for Koepka, McIlroy reportedly didn’t offer the same backing for his fellow Europeans. 

He reportedly claimed he feels differently about the Europeans who jumped ship, such as Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson, who was supposed to be captaining Team Europe this year before being replaced by Luke Donald after he joined LIV. 

McIlroy seemingly believes the European LIV rebels shouldn’t play in the Ryder Cup due to the bad blood between the two warring camps.  

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Garcia, Poulter, Stenson, Lee Westwood and Richard Bland are all ineligible for Team Europe due to their resignation from the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour. 

In April, an arbitration panel sided with the DP World Tour in its legal battle against 12 players who had appealed against being fined £100,000 ($124,000) and suspended from the Scottish Open for playing in LIV Golf’s inaugural event at the Centurion Club in June 2022 without permission.

However, McIlroy’s European teammate Jon Rahm offered a different take. 

The Masters champion insisted the Ryder Cup should be a matchup of the best of the Americans against the best of the Europeans, regardless of what tour they play on. 

McIlroy didn't offer the same backing foe his fellow Europeans, such as Ian Poulter (right)

McIlroy didn’t offer the same backing foe his fellow Europeans, such as Ian Poulter (right)

Poulter and Lee Westwood (left) are among the LIV rebels now ineligible for Team Europe

Poulter and Lee Westwood (left) are among the LIV rebels now ineligible for Team Europe

Rahm enjoyed a successful partnership with fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia but will not be able to renew it at Marco Simeone Golf and Country Club this year. 

Garcia resigned from the DP World Tour after jumping ship to Saudi-backed LIV Golf, making him ineligible for Team Europe in September. 

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‘It’s sad politics have got in the way of such a beautiful event,’ said two-time major winner Rahm, who has previously called for LIV Rebels to be eligible. 

‘Again, it’s the best Europeans against the best Americans, period. And whatever is going on, who is playing LIV and who is not playing LIV to me shouldn’t matter.

Jon Rahm didn't share the opinion, saying he would 'miss' fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia (left)

Jon Rahm didn’t share the opinion, saying he would ‘miss’ fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia (left)

‘It’s whoever is best suited to represent the European side. I have a hard time to believe that the best player Europe has ever had, the most successful player Europe has had on the Ryder Cup, isn’t fit to be on the team.

‘A Spanish duo in the Ryder Cup I think to me is embedded into the roots of the Ryder Cup. Look what Seve [Ballesteros] and [Jose Maria Olazabal] were able to do throughout their partnership, right?

‘It’s unfortunate. I will miss him.’

Garcia has already said he will not be part of Europe’s Ryder Cup team even if LIV Players are made eligible so as not to ‘hurt the team.’  



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