Welcome to First Off, my new daily recap and reaction feature for Golf News Net members. Catch up on everything happening in the golf world each morning in an easy-to-consume format with commentary -- and sometimes insight -- to get your day started.
In today's kick-off edition:
- There is no Ryder Cup debate about Brooks Koepka
- Rose Zhang to go pro after another NCAA title
- PGA Tour announces Q-School details
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Brooks Koepka is playing on the US Ryder Cup team, right?
Now that Brooks Koepka has won a fifth major title and third PGA Championship, the reality is setting in that a LIV Golf player is in a great position to make the US Ryder Cup team on points. Not as a pick. On points. Koepka is second in the ranking after the PGA, but there are still two majors and a whole slate of PGA Tour events that offer points to other players looking to crack the top six and earn an automatic berth. It's possible for Koepka to get bumped.
Even if he does get bumped out of that automatic six, though, how can captain Zach Johnson refuse to pick him? He's clearly one of the 12 best American players right now. The PGA of America has said LIV Golf players can earn Ryder Cup points, and the organization has not said they intend to disqualify LIV Golf players from competing on the American team. That could change, too, but it would be a political problem for the PGA of America after Koepka already won a major -- their major -- this year.
So, there is no debate. Brooks Koepka is on the US Ryder Cup team. See you in Rome.
Rose Zhang to go pro after another NCAA title
Rose Zhang has done everything you can possibly do in amateur golf. She won the Augusta National Women's Am in April. She's been No. 1 in the world ranking longer than any amateur. And she just went back-to-back at the NCAA Championships yesterday to cap off the best individual career in women's collegiate golf history. There's nothing left for her at the collegiate level.
It makes sense, then, that Golf Channel's Grant Boone is reporting she will likely turn pro ahead of next week's inaugural Mizuho Americas Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey. There's just one reason to wait a little longer to turn pro, and that's her exemption into the US Women's Open at Pebble Beach. She is in the event as the No. 1 female amateur player in the world, and she'd have to give that up were she to turn pro. Still, the USGA could recognize one of their greatest champions -- a US Women's Am champion -- with an exemption to compete. The field would feel incomplete without her.
PGA Tour announces Q-School details
The PGA Tour has reinvigorated Q-School in 2023 with the announcement that PGA Tour cards would once again be on the line in the year-ending event. They have announced more details today, and the 72-hole event will be played Dec. 14-17 at Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass and Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The top five finishers and ties will earn PGA Tour cards for the 2024 season, with the next 40 and ties earning some kind of exempt status on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2024. The first 25 finishers and ties in that top 40 will be exempt until the third reshuffle, and any remaining finishers within the category being subject to the second reshuffle.
The best news is that we'll be able to watch it. Q-School is back on TV, with eight hours of coverage between Golf Channel and NBC's streaming service, Peacock.