Ryder Cup stalwarts Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer are pretty adamant, but what do you think? Alex Perry and George Cooper have their say

Was joining the LIV Golf Invitational Series worth jeopardising your Ryder Cup careers?

That was the question put to Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer ahead of the second event at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland.

The European trio, two of whom were a shoo-in for captaincy before defecting to Greg Norman’s breakaway league, have 25 appearances and 59 points between them in the biennial clash between Europe and the USA.

But while it’s still not understood whether or not

“Why should it be threatened?” Westwood said. “I’ve been playing Ryder Cup golf since 1997, and the criteria has been to be a member of the European Tour.

“Now, the criteria for being a member of the European Tour is to play four events. Why should they change that now?

“I’ve been a member of the PGA Tour and still played four events on the European Tour, and why would the European Tour change their rules so dramatically because another tour doesn’t like it or feels financially threatened? There’s just a bit too much protection going on for my liking and not enough transparency.

“I think as long as you fulfil the criteria to be a European Tour member, then you should still have the opportunity to try and qualify for the Ryder Cup team.”

Garcia, meanwhile, remains positive that he’ll be able to add to his record Ryder Cup points tally.

“I hope that I still have the possibility to be a part of a few more Ryder Cup teams,” the Spaniard said. “But that’s not going to depend on us now. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed.”

Kaymer added: “I’ve been part of important Ryder Cups in my career. I would love to play for Sergio or Lee one day. That’s just how it is.

“But if you asked me if I would do the same, if I would make the same choice, absolutely – because I believe in the whole vision that LIV Golf provides for the game of golf and for us players.”

Ryder Cup

So that’s what the golfers have to say, but what about us? Alex Perry and George Cooper have their say…

‘The Ryder Cup may have to make some changes’

Of course they shouldn’t be banned, writes Alex Perry. The Ryder Cup should be the 12 best European players versus the 12 best American players – regardless of which tour they play on.

Really, this opens up a whole new discussion about the Ryder Cup qualification process as a whole.

Do you want my opinion? Well I’ll give it to you anyway. The Ryder Cup should be based on the world rankings, rather than this confusing points system which rewards players for playing on the DP World Tour – a tour which is now essentially a feeder tour for its American counterpart.

The eight highest-ranked Americans and Europeans plus four picks for each captain. Why do these things always have to be so overly complicated.

As for LIV players, that particular tour doesn’t carry world ranking points, and probably won’t for a while yet, so it would at least settle that particular issue.

‘Have the LIV players done anything wrong?’

I don’t know why, writes George Cooper, but even as a European I’ve never really been fussed by the outcome.

I know, I know. I just like watching the best players play golf.

But whenever there’s a hoo-ha about how a LIV defectee has now killed his Ryder Cup career, I just think is it that a big a deal?

It seems a bit petty to ban them. But if you ban them from the tours then what choice do you have?

But, aside from the nonsense spewing from their mouths on a seemingly daily basis, have the LIV players really done anything wrong? They’ve just chosen to go and play their golf elsewhere.

I reckon I’d actually get more excited for a Ryder Cup which had LIV rebels getting in on the action. Might add a bit more spice to proceedings.

Or, and this is another discussion for another day, how about the Ryder Cup becomes LIV Golf vs the Rest of the World? Now we’re talking…

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Alex Perry


Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

Handicap: 14

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.

Handicap: 14

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