Martin Kaymer told NCG the key reason why LIV Golf’s European stalwarts would find it hard to become successful Ryder Cup captains…
Martin Kaymer has questioned if LIV Golf’s contingent of European legends would make suitable Ryder Cup captains.
The German said players such as Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter aren’t in regular contact with Europe’s up-and-coming stars, making it “hard to be a captain.”
Team Europe has beaten the United States in eight out of the last 11 Ryder Cups, often by harnessing spirit and camaraderie when appearing the weaker side on paper.
As the aforementioned trio weren’t involved in Rome four months ago, youngsters like Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg were chosen by captain Luke Donald after weeks of relationship building and bonding.
“I think it’s tricky. If you play on a different tour and you have zero chats and you don’t see the people who are going to play on the Ryder Cup team, you know, you don’t see them,” Kaymer explained to NCG.
“For example, Lee Westwood would be the right age to be a captain, also Poulter and Sergio, but you’re not in contact with someone like Nicolai Hojgaard, with Rasmus Hojgaard, with Adrian Meronk, or Rory (McIlroy).
“You just don’t see them, so that was always the European advantage that we always spent so much time together during tournaments, we talk quite a bit and we become friends.
“If you don’t see each other, I think it’s hard to be a captain and understand the way they play golf.”
Kaymer, who played in four Ryder Cups, would like to be European captain one day, but he accepts “you knew what you were getting into” before joining LIV Golf.
Doubts were cast over Kaymer’s Ryder Cup future when he joined the Saudi-funded league, diverting his focus from the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour.
You must be a member of the tour to play in the Ryder Cup and, although Kaymer hopes to be involved in the biennial battle with America again in the future, he says, “You can’t be asking for everything in life.”
“When I was a vice-captain, I realised that playing is the ultimate,” the two-time major champion added.
“Being the captain is a big honour to have, and I think through my career and also Garcia, Poulter, Westwood, they deserve to be the captains and it would’ve been great, and I would also like to be the captain.
“But if it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen. It’s a little bit sad, but it is what it is and like I said, two years ago, you knew exactly what you were getting into and you can’t be asking for everything in life.
“You need to accept things that you can get, and you need to make a decision about things that you can’t get.
“I hope that we can play Ryder Cups again if we are playing well enough. I hope that we find a way to get into it.
“But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what tour you play, the best players should play and if we end up good enough, just because we have that experience, that doesn’t do it if you don’t play good enough, you need to perform and then you should be able to play at the Ryder Cup.”
Martin Kaymer: Ryder Cup was fun to watch, but ‘I wasn’t really sad that I wasn’t there’
As the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Public Investment, the primary investors in LIV Golf, continue their talks, a compromise could bring Kaymer and co. back into the Ryder Cup fray.
On June 6 2023, a framework agreement between these parties was announced, however, the deadline of December 31 to officially sign a deal wasn’t met and now it’s hoped something is cemented before the Masters.
Kaymer, now 39 years of age, watched the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone during his bachelor party in Sotogrande. He was full of praise for captain Donald and the new-look European side that featured four rookies.
His own form has tailed off since joining LIV. In 17 events, Kaymer has failed to make a top-10 and he recognised this must improve if his Team Europe playing days were ever to re-commence.
“We watched all three days, and I was glad to see the team dynamic in Europe, it seemed like they had a good atmosphere, and they all were good friends with each other,” he added.
“Luke Donald did a really good job; it was fun to watch and it wasn’t that difficult to watch because I knew what I was getting into two years ago.
“I knew that this was a possibility, and what also helped is that I haven’t played good enough to even have a chance, so I was happy that Europe won.
“But I wasn’t really sad that I wasn’t there, because if I would’ve been there, I wouldn’t have been able to play the golf that the guys did.”
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