Brandel Chamblee grapples with ‘copper bends’, Brooks Koepka bad for Ryder Cup

Brandel Chamblee took a shot at Brooks Koepka on Thursday during Golf Central’s pregame show.

“I think so [Koepka] it’s bad for it [Ryder Cup] team,” the Golf Channel analyst said.

“Koepka being in the Ryder Cup, no matter what he does, it’s not going to be about whether it’s going to be great for the United States or the Ryder Cup… In making this team more cohesive, it’s all about on point and pointing in the right direction, if Brooks Koepka was missing from this team it would be good for this team.”

Chamblee has been an active proponent of LIV Golf since its inception in early 2022.

Since Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is LIV’s beneficiary, Chamblee regularly discusses the Saudi Kingdom’s history of human rights abuses, lack of transparency, and its involvement in 9/11, among other topics.

Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee is on set during a practice round for the 78th US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on July 5, 2023.
Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of this,” Chamblee continued.

“The guy who runs the money that pays for LIV ordered his slaughter [Washington Post journalist] Jamal Khashoggi. As far as I know, he’s never faced the music for it. He is the one who runs LIV. He is the one who funds LIV. To him they went. They play for him.”

Of course, the PGA Tour agreed to a “framework agreement” with the PIF on June 6. The two sides have until the end of the 2023 calendar year to reach an agreement on the professional golf union.

Chamblee has shot down that deal as well, but before the BMW Championship, he focused on Koepka and the Ryder Cup.

“Koepka’s participation in the Ryder Cup is a referendum on LIV,” Chamblee added. “It will be nothing else. It’s going to be non-stop tweets from bots and everyone who supports LIV about how great this is for LIV, more than it is for the Ryder Cup, more than the charity aspect of the PGA Tour or the PGA of America.”

Brooks Keopka, Team USA, 43rd Ryder Cup

Brooks Koepka hits his third shot on the first hole during the Sunday Singles at the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 26, 2021.
Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America

Entering the BMW Championship, Koepka is ranked fifth on the American side of the Ryder Cup standings. His win at the PGA Championship and runner-up finish at Augusta National lifted him up.

The top six players in the rankings automatically qualify for the team following the conclusion of this week’s tournament at Olympia Fields.

“Koepka missing from this team would also open up a spot for [U.S. Captain] Zach Johnson,” Chamblee argued. “It would open up a spot for Justin Thomas or Lucas Glover.”

Indeed, if Koepka drops out of the top six, he could only make the team via captaincy selection. Johnson has six picks at his disposal and can select any player he deems worthy.

Thomas has been a fixture at the Ryder Cup in the past, but a brutal 2023 season likely means he will miss the team this time around.

Glover, meanwhile, is the hottest golfer on the planet and tends to do the American side. If he did, Glover would become the first player since Jose Maria Canizares in 1989 to win the Ryder Cup. without playing in a single majorper Justin Ray of The Athletic.

Who knows how the next 10 days will shake out, as the American Ryder Cup roster must be finalized after the Tour Championship.

But if Chamblee had his way, he certainly wouldn’t have picked Koepka.

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

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