Was Dustin Johnson a U.S. Ryder Cup team snub? Here’s what he thinks

Dustin Johnson during LIV Golf Bedminster tournament

Dustin Johnson revealed his thoughts on missing the Ryder Cup in an interview with the Palm Beach Post.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the big questions that arose with the birth of LIV Golf was whether players who fled the PGA Tour for “greener” pastures would be able to play the Ryder Cup.

In the end, while no official bans were put in place (beyond barring players who had resigned their DP World Tour memberships), Team Europe chose not to include any LIV players on the team they’re taking to Rome at the end of September. U.S. team captain Zach Johnson, however, made it clear all along that if an American LIV player had a good enough year, he would be eligible for a captain’s pick.

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He backed that up using one of his six captain’s picks on LIV’s Brooks Koepka, who held the 54-hole lead at the Masters and won his fifth major at the PGA Championship in May.

American team stalwart Dustin Johnson, however, did not earn a pick. Despite his dominant 5-0 performance in the U.S. team’s 19-9 trouncing of Europe at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, he’ll be watching this year’s action from home.

In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Johnson revealed that he “would love to be a part of the team” and that while his play wasn’t great in 2023, he thinks it was enough to have earned a spot in Rome.

“To be honest, I haven’t really played that well, this year. But have I played well enough to be on the team? Yeah,” Johnson told the Palm Beach Post. “I didn’t have the best year. Was it good enough to make the team? I think so.”

Furthermore, Johnson went on to claim that if he hadn’t joined LIV and instead had plied his trade on the PGA Tour, he would be heading to Marco Simone with the rest of the American Ryder Cuppers, just as he did in 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2021.

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

But the two-time major winner also expressed understanding for why he didn’t make the cut, pointing to his performance at golf’s four majors, which were virtually the only opportunities for LIV pros to show their worth for the Ryder Cup.

“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 admitted.

You can read Johnson’s full interview with the Palm Beach Post, including details on his call with U.S. captain Zach Johnson, here.

Kevin Cunningham

Kevin Cunningham

Golf.com Editor

As managing producer for GOLF.com, Cunningham edits, writes and publishes stories on GOLF.com, and manages the brand’s e-newsletters, which reach more than 1.4 million subscribers each month. A former two-time intern, he also helps keep GOLF.com humming outside the news-breaking stories and service content provided by our reporters and writers, and works with the tech team in the development of new products and innovative ways to deliver an engaging site to our audience.