Ryder Cup

Dustin Johnson says he would've made Ryder Cup had he stayed on PGA Tour

September 14, 2023

Warren Little

Dustin Johnson is not a part of this year’s United States Ryder Cup team. According to the two-time major winner, that fate has more to do with where he plays than how he’s played.

Johnson, speaking to the Palm Beach Post, said he believes he would have been selected to the American squad had he not defected to LIV Golf.

“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, 39, was LIV Golf’s first major signing when the Saudi-backed circuit announced its rosters in spring 2022, reportedly joining the rival league for nine figures. Following his move Johnson lost a number of sponsors and eventually parted ways with long-time partner adidas.

In 2023, Johnson ranks eighth out of 52-qualified players in LIV Golf’s season-long individual standings with two events remaining, and his 4 Aces club is first in the team rankings. However, Johnson was mostly a non-factor in the major championships in 2023, a T-10 at the U.S. Open his only top-45 finish in golf’s four biggest events.

Conversely, Johnson has played in five Ryder Cups in his career, and in 2021 became the first American golfer in four decades to go 5-0 in leading the U.S. to victory. Johnson said he had conversations with U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson, and said he expressed his desire to be a part of the team.

“We talked quite a good bit,” DJ said. “He’s a good friend of mine. … But like I said, I didn’t play quite well enough, especially not being on the tour, I needed to really play well.”

LIV Golf events did not receive Ryder Cup points, meaning LIV players could only make a dent in the automatic standings through the majors. Even then, the task was tall, as Brooks Koepka’s PGA Championship win and T-2 at the Masters were not enough for an automatic pick. Koepka did ultimately earn a captain’s pick, meaning there will be a LIV representative at this month’s match in Rome.

The Ryder Cup begins Sept. 29. The Americans are defending champs, but have not won on foreign soil in 30 years.