Scheffler implies that Koepka is deserving of a Ryder Cup place

Mark McGowan

Scottie Scheffler (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Scottie Scheffler may have stopped short of saying that Brooks Koepka deserves a Ryder Cup spot, but he certainly implied it in his pre-tournament press conference at the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake.

When Ryder Cup automatic qualifying concluded at the end of last week’s BMW Championship, five-time Major winner and reigning PGA Championship title holder Koepka had been overtaken by Max Homa and Xander Schauffele

“Brooks?” he replied when asked his thoughts on his likely inclusion, “I mean, I looked at the points list the other night. He was about, like 300 or, I think he was 30 points shy? Which is, I think it was the equivalent of like $30,000 throughout the year. So…”


After having it clarified that it was actually just 29 points that Koepka fell shy by, the world number one added: “29. Yeah. So if he played one tournament on Tour I think he probably would have been on the team.”

Without explicitly saying it, reading between the lines it would appear that Scheffler thinks Koepka is deserving of a spot based on golfing prowess, but stated that his own appearance in Rome would likely be the last time he tees it up before taking an extended break during the Autumn.

“I’m not going to do much. I’m going to play the Ryder Cup. I don’t know what I have planned after that, but it’s not going to be much,” he said, before adding jokily, “You won’t be seeing much of me. I’ll be hiding.”

Despite a record breaking season in tee-to-green statistics and on the financial end of things, two victories seem scant return for Scheffler’s exploits but the Texan feels that it’s a little underappreciated just how hard it is to win PGA Tour events.

“I think it’s just quite difficult to win out here,” he said. “I mean, like, last week I think is a great example, going into Sunday tied for the lead, and I think I was 5-under on 17 tee for the day on a golf course that’s hosted the U.S. Open and I got bypassed. So I think the talent level out here is really deep and as much as I can put myself on a leaderboard, that’s a good thing, so just keep putting myself in that position.

“Last week was a week where I played pretty good on Sunday. I just needed to play a little bit better. I wouldn’t say that getting over the hump is the right term for it. I mean, I’m just putting myself in position a good amount.”

The world number one enters the Tour Championship in pole position for the second year in succession, and is hoping that the lessons learned in last year’s event where he was pipped to the title by Rory McIlroy will stand him in good stead in this year’s staging.

“I think you take something away from every tournament,” he said. “Last year, I think I just — I maybe got — I don’t know if impatient is the right word, in the final round, but I just didn’t get off to a good start and after that, I played really well. So I learned about myself that, you know, how much I like to fight out there, and I kind of had a good talking to to myself. I think I lost that six-stroke lead pretty early in the round.

“I remember walking down number 8 and kind of just having a talk with myself about, you know, this is why you practice, this is why you prepare, just kind of give yourself a little pump-up speech, and then after that I snapped right back in.”

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