Keegan Bradley will accept LIV Golf players on Ryder Cup team: “On a mission” to win

Keegan Bradley is “on a mission” to win the Ryder Cup for Team USA.

He will have the most talented players on his team to accomplish that goal, regardless of what tour they play on.

“I’m not worried about the LIV Golf stuff. I’m going to have the 12 best players on the team. I don’t care what or where they play. So we have a mission to win this tournament,” Bradley said Tuesday.

“I want the best players on the team. By the time we get to Bethpage in 2025, we have no clue how the layout of the golf world is going to be.”

The leadup to the 2023 competition in Rome sparked plenty of controversy regarding LIV Golf. The Europeans stripped Henrik Stenson of his captaincy after he joined the Saudi-backed circuit and consequently handed the reigns over to Englishman Luke Donald instead. The DP World Tour, which facilitates the European Ryder Cup team, barred LIV Golf players from joining the blue and gold. That meant no Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, and Martin Kaymer—all Ryder Cup stalwarts who joined LIV.

On the American side, Captain Zach Johnson selected Brooks Koepka, who won the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, to join Team USA.

Koepka was the only LIV Golf player on either side and posted a 1-1-1 record, which included a historic loss to Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Åberg. Koepka played alongside Scottie Scheffler on Saturday morning and lost 9 & 7.

So far this year, nobody has played better in major championships than Bryson DeChambeau. He tied for sixth at Augusta National, finished in solo second at Valhalla, and then won the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in dramatic fashion. If he had that performance a season ago, Johnson would have had no choice but to include DeChambeau among the American 12.

But if the two-time U.S. Open winner continues on this trajectory, he will surely make the 2025 squad—and if he does not automatically qualify, Bradley will have to select him.

Nevertheless, Bradley is not overly concerned about that—at least not yet.

“I’ve only been the captain for two weeks, and we haven’t really even gotten the real points started, which start next year,” Bradley added.

“So I’ll have to wait and see how everything shakes out. My biggest concern is having the best players on the team.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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