How Brooks Koepka could lose Ryder Cup automatic berth thanks to BMW Championship

Brooks Koepka could put U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Zach Johnson in a precarious position should things fall a certain way at the BMW Championship.

Entering this week, Koepka ranks fifth in the U.S. Ryder Cup team standings.

Those in the top six after the BMW automatically qualify for the team.

Scottie Scheffler and Wyndham Clark have already qualified for the U.S. Team, while Patrick Cantlay and Brian Harman are locks to make it too.

That’s where things get very interesting.

How Brooks Koepka loses his Ryder Cup auto-berth

Sitting behind Koepka in sixth is Max Homa, who broke the course record at Olympia Fields Friday. Should Homa go on to win—or finish anywhere better than a two-way tie for ninth—he will leapfrog Koepka in the standings, thus dropping the 2023 PGA Champion to sixth.

But Koepka could get bumped from the top six all together should any of these circumstances take place—on top of Homa finishing ninth or better:

  • Xander Schauffele finishes solo ninth or better.
  • Jordan Spieth finishes solo third or better.
  • Cameron Young finishes in a two-way tie for second or better.
  • Collin Morikawa or Keegan Bradley finish solo second or better.
  • Sam Burns, Rickie Fowler, Denny McCarthy, or Lucas Glover win outright.

Through 36 holes at the BMW Championship, Schauffele sits at 4-under for the championship in a tie for 10th. If he has a strong weekend, his scenario along with Homa is most likely to bump the five-time major champion from the Ryder Cup.

Fowler is at 5-under, sitting in a tie for fifth with Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Harris English.

Glover and Morikawa are at 3-under, tied for 13th.

Spieth, Young, McCarthy, Bradley, and Burns are all at 2-under, in a tie for 22nd.

Max Homa holds the 36-hole lead at the 2023 BMW Championship at 10-under par.
Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

With Olympia Fields playing soft this week, players have the green light to attack the golf course. That has produced lower scores.

Just three years ago, the last time this course hosted the BMW Championship, only five players finished under par as the winning score was 4-under.

This year, 32 players are under par midway through the tournament as the pristine scoring conditions will remain the same for the rest of the championship.

That does not bode well for Koepka, who may need to rely on a captain’s pick to make the team—that is, if Johnson selects him.

Of course, Johnson sent an ominous message to Koepka and other LIV players earlier this week.

“There hasn’t been much communication,” Johnson said on the ‘Subpar’ podcast. “I’m going to be fully transparent. It’s hard because I’m not able to witness what they’re doing and see their form, with the exception of four events a year. What Brooks has done this year, well, no one’s surprised. I’m just glad he’s healthy.”

Whether Johnson picks Koepka remains to be seen. But one thing remains certain: the BMW Championship will continue to produce plenty of Ryder Cup drama.

Jack Milko is a golf staff 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 too.