In a revealing interview, Rory McIlroy has expressed his hurt with Team Europe allies for defecting to LIV Golf

Rory McIlroy has revealed he feels ‘betrayed’ by a number of Ryder Cup teammates who decided to defect to LIV Golf.

In an honest and open interview with The Guardian, McIlroy expressed his feelings of hurt towards the likes of Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell, questioning their decision to join the series and ‘jeopardise’ their future with Team Europe.

“It’s a weird thing,” McIlroy said. “I think it is the first time in my life that I have felt betrayal, in a way. It’s an unfamiliar feeling to me. You build bonds with these people through Ryder Cups and other things.

“Them knowing that what they are about to do is going to jeopardise them from being a part of that ever again? There was a great opportunity for G-Mac to maybe be the captain at Adare [Manor] in 2027. Most of Sergio’s legacy is Ryder Cup-based, same with Poulter, Westwood.”

The comments come nearly two months after McIlroy exposed his fractured relationships with Garcia and Poulter at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

The Northern Irishman paired with the duo on five and six times respectively to much success in the Ryder Cup, but now believes they’ve “left behind” their legacy after switching to the Greg Norman-led series.

“I would like to think the Ryder Cup means as much to them as it does to me,” McIlroy continued, who replaced Scottie Scheffler as World No 1 after winning the CJ Cup earlier this week. “Maybe it does. But knowing what the consequences could be, I just could never make that decision.

“OK, it might not be 100% certain but that it could be the outcome? It just isn’t a move I would be willing to make. I thought they felt the same way.

“I feel like the place where they have been able to build their legacy and build their brand, they have just left behind.”

Poulter has since bitten back since McIlroy made the comments, defending his commitment to the Ryder Cup.

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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