Could we see a scenario where sacked captain Henrik Stenson plays in the Ryder Cup? His replacement, Luke Donald, says it's a possibility

If things weren’t getting messy enough in golf’s ongoing civil war between LIV and the PGA and DP World Tours, it now appears a legal battle is materialising which could see the breakaway league’s rebels still feature in next year’s Ryder Cup.

Following the announcement that Luke Donald would be replacing sacked captain Henrik Stenson as Europe’s new Ryder Cup skipper for 2023, the Englishman was pressed on whether the door was still open for LIV golfers to feature in his 12-man squad. Things then got a little ambiguous.

Unable to place clarity on the situation, Donald revealed “there’s a legal situation going on” between the LIV faithful and Ryder Cup Europe, meaning, in theory, there’s a possibility the likes of Stenson could play on his team in Rome.

“Everything with LIV is kind of hypothetical and it’s hard for me to answer,” Donald told Sky Sports after being unveiled as Europe’s new captain. “I don’t have the clarity on those situations right now. Those discussions will have to be made through the various tours.

“I believe there’s a legal situation going on. Again, that’s completely out of my control. I’ll just do everything I can to make sure 12 good guys come prepared in Rome in 14 months time.

“Theoretically, they [LIV players] will still be able to earn points when the points system starts,” Donald continued. “But again, that’s something that is out of my control.”

While Team USA has laid out plans for its 2023 Ryder Cup qualification criteria, Europe has yet to unveil how its team will be determined – due partly to the ongoing disruption caused by LIV Golf.

Guy Kinnings, Europe’s Ryder Cup director, suggested that LIV’s defectors remain in the qualification discussion until a legal case is settled.

He said: “There are legal appeals ongoing, and until such time the players are entitled to play. When [the Ryder Cup qualification process] does get announced, then that has to be something that Luke will be working on with us.”

Stand by, the upcoming months could be about to get very interesting…

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George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

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