The Round Table: yes or no on Koepka, Scheffler and Chamblee?

Each week we ask our panel of writers, PGA members and golf industry experts to weigh in with their views on the hot topics of the day.

Thanks to a strong finish by Xander Schauffele at the BMW Championship, Brooks Koepka was knocked out of the top six for an automatic qualifying spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He currently sits in seventh position. Should Zach Johnson make him a captain’s pick?

Jim Deeks, Fairways Magazine (@jimdeeks): I’m not usually a vindictive person, but I’d say “no”.  Koepka thumbed his nose and sneered at the PGA Tour that helped make him a multimillionaire; in my view, that’s bad sportsmanship.  The Ryder Cup has always been about sportsmanship.  I don’t think any of the defectors deserve a place in the Ryder Cup.

Craig Loughry, Golf Ontario (@craigloughry): If Z. Johnston doesn’t take Brooks, it’s a mistake and for no other reason than political. I have no idea how you JUSTIFY in any way passing him with any other players 8th and beyond. His play speaks for itself, and he deserves a spot.

Michael Schurman, Master Professional / Hall of Fame Member, PGA of Canada: Koepka is a problem for the USA team because he is better than others who are on the team. I don’t think Zack should pick Brooks because most of the L1V events are played closer to Europe than the USA. L1V players should qualify for the European Ryder Cup Team.

Hal Quinn, Freelance Writer, Vancouver: That 7th spot must be a relief to Capt. Johnson, who said that he — like tens of millions of others — hasn’t watched LIV’s exhibitions so hasn’t monitored Koepka’s form. (He could be a politician). Decisions have consequences. Leaving the Tour should mean losing the privilege of playing in the Cup.

Peter Mumford, Fairways Magazine (@FairwaysMag): If he wants the best team he should. Koepka is one of the top players in the world and has the respect of all the other players on that team. Unlike some of his LIV counterparts who would be a distraction in a team environment, Brooks is a no-nonsense guy who will get the job done.

Golf.com has a lengthy interview with Brandel Chamblee in which the Golf Channel analyst dishes on some of his favourite subjects including Phil Mickelson, LIV Golf and the proposed deal between the PGA Tour and the Saudi PIF. You can read it HERE. As usual, Chamblee has strong opinions, backed up by diligent research. What’s your take on Chamblee and do you usually find yourself agreeing with him or not?

Deeks: I’m a big fan of Chamblee and I admire his courage in speaking out.  I don’t always agree with him, but his view of sportsmanship, fair play, and common sense are in total alignment with my own. Not that anyone but me cares, but I’ve been consistently critical of LIV Golf and agree with Chamblee that it’s all about greed.  A bunch of pampered, entitled, very rich prima donnas who believe they deserve to be even richer for hitting golf balls for a living.

Loughry: I’ve had enough of Brandel, I think he makes some valid points sometimes, but sometimes I think he takes his opinion too far and talks to hear himself talk. Kick Phil out of the Hall of Fame? Really? What a moronic comment. I read last week, Brandel asked for 3x his salary from Golf Channel/NBC in their contract negotiations, and they couldn’t come to an agreement, so Brandel will be leaving Golf Channel this Fall. If true, I hope that means room for Frank Nobilo and Duval, and a little more Faxon.

Schurman: There are always two sides to every discussion to factual side and the emotional side. Emotion wins every time because eventually the emotional person cries and that makes the factual person a bully. I like Brandel a lot. He works hard and he is extremely intelligent. I don’t always agree with him and that’s when he quotes additional facts proving his point and then I get emotional.

Quinn: Met Chamblee after he won the late-lamented Tour stop in Vancouver. Really good guy, down to earth, very funny, heck of a character. Have always enjoyed his commentary on (The) Golf Channel, and yes, it is backed up by detailed research. His articulate pillorying of LIV and the hypocrisy of the defectors has been right up there with Eamon Lynch’s. Can’t remember disagreeing with him.

Mumford: I’m a fan and have always enjoyed his commentary. Not sure how he’s going to rationalize a new Saudi-backed PGA Tour, but it will be interesting to follow. I usually find myself in agreement with Brandel and it’s often hard to argue with his well documented opinions when I’m not.

Scottie Scheffler was in contention to win the BMW until the final few holes, but short missed putts derailed his chances to win for the third time on Tour this year. He’s been a Top 10 machine all season and consistently at the top of the FedEx Cup standings and the money list. Would Scheffler be your pick to win Player of the Year, or would you choose someone else?

Deeks: Yup, Scheffler would be my pick.  Although Rahm and Hovland and McIlroy, and even Fowler, have put up some impressive numbers.

Loughry: I think its Scheff for Player of the Year, he’s been incredibly consistent all year. If his putter would just be average, he’d have one of the best years on Tour in history, likely with multiple more wins. But as they say, you have to get it in the hole.

Schurman: As a person who has studied and taught the golf swing most of my life, I wish Scottie had a picture-perfect golf swing. However, he is the best and most reliable player in the world. He is my pick.

Quinn: But for his occasional balky putter, Scheffler could easily have won a handful more. He’s been the best overall player all season. Awards have definitely been devalued by the hyper inflation of purses on Tour, but for what it’s worth, Scheffler should win the POY.

Mumford: Scheffler has had a remarkable year money-wise due to 15 Top 10 finishes, but POY usually goes to someone with at least one major victory. Jon Rahm has four wins including the Masters, so that makes it a two-man race. Nobody else is in the conversation as far as I’m concerned, regardless of what they do in the Tour Championship. (Hear that, Rory!) If Scheffler manages to hold onto his ridiculous contrived Tour Championship lead and win, then he should be POY . Otherwise, I’d vote for Jon Rahm.

 

The Round Table
The Round Table is a panel of golf writers, PGA members and industry experts.

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