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Dustin Johnson says defection to LIV cost him Ryder Cup spot

Dustin Johnson said he would have been selected to this year’s United States Ryder Cup team had he not defected to LIV Golf.

Johnson, a two-time major champion, instead finds himself a spectator despite being a part of five previous American teams. The Ryder Cup will be contested at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club near Rome, starting Sept. 29.

“I would love to be a part of the team,” Johnson told The Palm Beach Post. “But to be honest, I haven’t really played that well this year. 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.

“If I would have been playing on [the PGA Tour], yeah, I would have made the team. Do I think I can help the U.S. team? Absolutely.”

Johnson, who joined the Saudi-funded LIV Golf circuit in June 2022, was not selected by U.S. captain Zach Johnson despite recording five top-10 finishes this season.

Johnson, 39, didn’t fare well in the majors, however, with his T10 finish at the U.S. Open being the best of the lot. He tied for 48th at the Masters, tied for 55th at the PGA Championship and missed the cut at The Open Championship.

“If I would have played a little better at the majors, I think I definitely would have had a really good chance to be on the team,” Johnson said. “But just struggled a little bit in the majors this year, which happens.”

Brooks Koepka, the reigning PGA Championship winner, is the only LIV golfer on the 12-man American roster. The five-time major winner was one of Zach Johnson’s six captain’s picks announced last month.

Dustin Johnson called Zach Johnson a “good friend of mine” and said the two spoke about the Ryder Cup squad at this year’s majors.

“I told him I’d love to be on the team,” Dustin Johnson said. “But like I said, I didn’t play quite well enough, especially not being on the tour, I needed to really play well.”

Johnson helped lead the U.S. to a victory over the Europeans in the 2021 Ryder Cup and also was a member of American teams in 2010, 2012, 2016 and 2018.

“When you’ve been a part of teams for the last 12 to 14 years, you want to be a part of it because they are great events,” he said.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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