LIV or not, Rory McIlroy wants Jon Rahm on the European Ryder Cup team in 2025…
Rory McIlroy wants Jon Rahm at the 2025 Ryder Cup at all costs.
The Northern Irishman said the European Tour (DP World Tour) have to “rewrite the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility” following his move to LIV Golf.
Rahm shook golf to the core on Thursday night by announcing his switch in a television interview with Fox News.
The Masters champion will play in LIV events that don’t yet award Ryder Cup ranking points, nor world ranking points, but McIlroy wants to play with the Spaniard at Bethpage.
“It’s hard to sit here and criticise Jon because of what a great player he is and the experiences I’ve had with him,” McIlroy said to Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir.
“But all I would say is that I’ll be disappointed not to play against him more regularly in the future.
“Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025, so because of this decision, the European Tour is going to have to re-write the rules for Ryder Cup eligibility, absolutely. There is no question about that. I certainly want Jon Rahm on the next Ryder Cup team.
“I’m going to miss competing against him week in and week out. He’s such a good player. He’s got so much talent, he’s so tenacious. He’s a great teammate in the Ryder Cup. I have nothing but good things to say about Jon.”
Jon Rahm: Ryder Cup future in doubt?
Ryder Cup stalwarts Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia resigned from the tour in May after the verdict of an arbitration hearing allowed the tour to sanction players.
These players became ineligible for the 2023 Ryder Cup side because of these resignations.
Rahm remained a member of the DP World Tour after signing his forms ahead of last month’s deadline, and NCG understands that eligibility criteria for the 2025 Ryder Cup won’t be decided until well into next year.
The 2025 Ryder Cup qualification period will also not begin for at least another nine months but, as it stands, no rules would need to change for Rahm to play in his fourth Ryder Cup.
Each DP World Tour member must request a release to play in a conflicting event, and then they are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
At the start of June, chief executive Keith Pelley outlined you must be European and a member of the tour to be eligible for the Ryder Cup.
Pelley’s words came soon after the PGA Tour announced the framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund, attempting to bring peace to golf’s civil war.
However, McIlroy believes the proposed deal between the US circuit and LIV Golf’s primary investor has made it “easier” for players to join the Saudi-funded league.
“I respect the hell out of him as a golfer and he seems he wants to live his life the right way,” he added. “He wants to be a good dad, he wants to be a good husband – the thing I realise is you can’t judge someone for making a decision that they feel is the best thing for them.
“Is it disappointing to me? Yes. But the landscape of golf changed on June 6 when the framework agreement was announced. I think because of that, it made the jump from LIV to the PGA Tour a little easier for guys.
“They let the first guys take the heat. This framework agreement basically legitimised what LIV was trying to do, and then I think it’s made it easier now if that’s really what you want to do.
“Product to product, I don’t think the two compare at all. The PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, they’re certainly superior products.
“But, the landscape of sport is changing and if there is a place for this sort of team golf and these franchises and all the things they talk about, if team golf works, then maybe it works.
“But my opinion now is there’s only one great team event in golf and that’s the Ryder Cup and that’s never going to change.”
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