United States Ryder Cup team captain Zach Johnson offered a fairly public heads-up this week that golfers who have left the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series are in danger of not being picked for next year’s matches in Italy.

Speaking before the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run, Johnson talked about the challenge he has in making captain’s picks for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

“So what I know is this: In order to play on the Ryder Cup team whether you’re top-six or a pick, you must garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America,” Johnson said. “In order to garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America, you have to be a member of the PGA of America. The way that we’re members of the PGA of America is through the PGA Tour. I’ll let you connect the dots from there.”

The 12-time winner PGA Tour winner and two-time major champion reaffirmed his loyalty to the PGA Tour but said he still respects golfers who left for LIV Golf.

“I got some friends that have decided to go that route,” he said. “A lot of individuals that I’m for. I mean, these are my friends. I’m for them. I want them to do well. I want them to, you know, find contentment or happiness in whatever it may be. It’s not for me to say how that develops or how they find that. I will say I have the utmost respect for them individually.”

There have been a lot of threats lobbed at golfers considering a move to the LIV Golf series, some of which have been followed through on so far and some of which have already gone by the wayside. We’ll have to wait and see if another exception is made in order to ensure victory for the U.S. side in the next Ryder Cup, which is scheduled to take place at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio outside of Rome.

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.