Golf legend Jack Nicklaus has weighed in on the debate surrounding Dustin Johnson’s absence from the Team USA roster for the upcoming Ryder Cup against Team Europe. Despite Johnson’s status as a player for the LIV Golf breakaway circuit, Nicklaus believes he deserved to be selected for the team.
Johnson, a star player for the United States, was not chosen by captain Zach Johnson for this year’s Ryder Cup in Italy. Team USA is determined to defeat Team Europe and retain the trophy they won at Whistling Straits in 2021.
Before the selection picks were announced, there was significant discussion about whether players who compete in the LIV Golf circuit should be chosen. Johnson was among several players who left the PGA Tour in 2022 to join the Saudi-funded league. On the other hand, Brooks Koepka, another player who signed up for LIV, was selected as part of Team USA.
Nicklaus, an 18-time major champion, expressed his belief that Johnson deserved a place on Team USA’s roster. The 83-year-old stated that no other player who missed out, aside from Johnson, can feel as unlucky as the two-time major winner.
“I think he deserved to be on the team,” Nicklaus told The Palm Beach Post. “Yes, no question. He played very well. He played very well in very important tournaments. He got beat out the last tournament for the automatic spot, but he still deserved to be picked.”
The 2023 Ryder Cup will take place at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy, starting on September 29. While Team USA is the current holder of the trophy, Team Europe has not lost on home soil since 1993. Captain Luke Donald used his picks to select Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, Nicolai Hojgaard, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose, and Sepp Straka, who will join the already-qualified players to form the full roster.
In conclusion, Jack Nicklaus has voiced his support for Dustin Johnson and his belief that he deserved a spot on the Team USA roster for the Ryder Cup. With the tournament approaching, all eyes will be on the teams as they compete for golfing glory.