Even Phil Mickelson Was Surprised As Team USA Stars Pose In LIV Golf Merch

LIV Golf player Brooks Koepka posted the image hours after Team USA lost the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone

Brooks Koepka with Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Sam Burns and Xander Schauffele
Brooks Koepka and four fellow Ryder Cup Team USA members in the viral Instagram image
(Image credit: Instagram @bkoepka)

Considering the US players are still processing a crushing defeat to the Europeans in the Ryder Cup, any who retain a sense of humour at this stage deserve credit, and that surely applies to Brooks Koepka and four other members of the team.

One of the points of contention in the months before the match was whether LIV Golf players would play a part, particularly after almost two years of division at the top of the game.

Against that backdrop, the one player from the circuit who did make it to Marco Simone, Team USA star Koepka, posted a cheeky image of him and four other Americans wearing Smash GC merch – the LIV Golf team he leads!

Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Sam Burns and Xander Schauffele are seen with Koepka in front of the “captain’s office” with the simple message: “I make money moves.”

The response to the image was largely enthusiastic, with plenty seeing the funny side, among them Koepka's fellow LIV Golf player and former Ryder Cup regular Phil Mickelson, who posted a surprised emoji above the image on X (formerly Twitter).

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Also on X, DP World Tour pro Eddie Pepperell had his tongue-in-cheek say, too, writing: "Gutted for Wolff to lose his spot! And Chase, he’s been so good this season."

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While Smash GC could certainly do with a lift this season, languishing eighth in the team standings with only four beneath them, it’s a safe bet that Koepka’s regular team members, brother Chase, Jason Kokrak and Matthew Wolff would take issue with the would-be new recruits.

As for the five in the photo, they endured mixed fortunes in Italy, with Koepka claiming 1.5 points from his three outings, Homa faring best with 3.5 points, Schauffele and Burns each claiming one point, and Fowler coming away empty-handed from his two matches. Overall, the US lost by 16.5 points to 11.5, sparking wild celebrations - and later, a party - among the Europeans.

While the Americans will need to wait at least two more years for a chance to experience a similar feeling, as a piece of light relief following a dispiriting three days, the sight of the PGA Tour regulars sporting Smash GC merch at least proves the team is keeping its spirits up.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.