To the surprise of many, LIV players had more than a fine weekend at The Masters. While the upstart tour didn't ultimately capture a green jacket, thanks to the stellar play of Jon Rahm, they did more than hold their own.
Brooks Koepka regained his major form with a tie for second with none other than 52-year-old Phil Mickelson, who came out of nowhere with a Sunday 65 to shock the golf world. Fellow LIV player and former Masters champ Patrick Reed also finished in a tie for 4th with Jordan Spieth and Russell Henley, assuring that three LIV players finished in the top 4.
With such a strong showing from three players who have previously been major factors at Ryder Cups, it's time to again ask if a LIV player can find his way onto the U.S. team this fall when Zach Johnson's squad goes wheels up to Rome.
BetCarolina.com, your one stop shop on the road to mobile North Carolina sports betting, has created hypothetical odds on which American LIV player is most likely to make the Ryder Cup team.
Only Time Will Tell
While it's a longshot that any LIV player will actually make the U.S. team (see our below odds for None), the play of the LIV contingent at Augusta National surely opened eyes in and around the world of golf.
Are we positive Koepka isn't among the 12 best American players in the world? And if he is, shouldn't he be part of the team, regardless of the animosity between LIV and the PGA Tour?
Johnson, the U.S. captain, has cast serious doubt that he would take a LIV player as of now, deferring to the PGA of America, which administers the event along with Ryder Cup Europe. But he also has stopped short of guaranteeing a LIV player won't be on the team, leaving the door open just a crack for the likes of Koepka, Reed and Dustin Johnson.
In the words of Lloyd Christmas -- so you're saying there's a chance? Well, maybe not for Phil, but here's how we broke down the odds. You won't find these on any North Carolina betting apps as of yet, but it's never too early to get a jump on Ryder Cup futures.
Odds On LIV Player To Make U.S. Team
Koepka, DJ Are Best Bets
Fresh off his runner-up at Augusta, Koepka (+115) looked eerily similar to the man who captured four major titles from 2017-2019. Koepka, in his own words, is "finally healthy," and for what it's worth, he is the only player to have won twice on the LIV circuit. Koepka, 32, also vaulted up the Ryder Cup qualification rankings after his Masters effort. While it's still a longshot, he could crack the top six to automatically qualify. One more strong major finish this season could put Zach Johnson in an awkward position.
DraftKings Sportsbook North Carolina has Koepka at +600 to win a major in 2023.
One aspect that also helps Koepka's odds? Unlike some on LIV, he appears to have retained some goodwill among his former PGA Tour peers. The same could be said for Dustin Johnson (+900), who has largely avoided the public backlash some have faced for going to LIV.
So why the longshot odds for DJ?
Simply put, we haven't seen much recent form out of the former U.S. Open and Masters champ. Johnson has just one top 10 in three LIV events this year, and he barely factored at Augusta last week with a T48.
The talent is never a question for DJ, but we're not sold on the motivation to make another Ryder Cup team. Johnson went 5-0 at Whistling Straits in 2021, and appears comfortable with that being the end to his Ryder Cup career. That said, Johnson is qualified for all three remaining slams this season. A win or maybe even late Sunday contention would change his odds dramatically.
It Would Take A Miracle...
Then there's the curious case of Patrick Reed (+3000). Like Dustin Johnson, talent is never a question. Unlike Dustin Johnson, Reed doesn't have many friends left on the Ryder Cup squad.
After he publicly criticized captain Jim Furyk following the 2018 Ryder Cup in France, Reed followed it up with a cheating scandal just ahead of the 2019 Presidents Cup. That team event would prove to be Reed's last, with teammates forced to address his questionable past with rules infractions and his own caddie even punching a fan.
Reed was left off the 2021 Ryder Cup squad, and the absence of "Captain America" wasn't felt at all. The Americans won 19-9.
Like Koepka and Dustin Johnson, an in-form Patrick Reed has a case to be among the 12 best American golfers. But there is simply too much damage done to picture him being a part of a future team.
Speaking of burned bridges, Mickelson (+17000) has virtually no shot of making the Ryder Cup team. As the face of LIV and overall persona non grata in the golf world, there simply is no road back for Phil in time for Rome this fall. Heck, Lefty couldn't even get a Butler Cabin interview last Sunday when he had a realistic chance to claim a fourth green jacket.
That says it all about Mickelson's current standing among golf's higher powers.
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