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jon rahm ryder cup

Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton offered renewed Ryder Cup hope by DP World Tour chief

Questions have surrounded Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton’s future Ryder Cup participation since they joined LIV Golf, but Guy Kinnings’ most recent comments will be music to their ears…

 

Guy Kinnings has said “there is no reason” why Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton can’t play for Europe at the 2025 Ryder Cup.

The DP World Tour chief executive told reporters that LIV Golf players need only to be European and to be a member of the DP World Tour to compete for Team Europe, despite the mounting sanctions that the rebels like Rahm and Hatton face.

The tour holds the right to fine and suspend players who break conflicting tournament regulations for each time they compete in the breakaway league, which could make it difficult for the pair to fulfil their required quota of four DP World Tour appearances needed to keep membership for 2025.

However Kinnings, who took over as the circuit’s chief executive earlier this month, maintains rules don’t need rewriting for these stars to keep their spots on Team Europe and European LIV Golfers can plot their away into the Ryder Cup side “if they do it the right way.”

“If you look at eligibility criteria for 2023, then I think there has been a slight misconception,” Kinnings said.

“The reality is, under the current rules, if a player is European, a member of the DP World Tour and abides by the rules – if you don’t get a release there are sanctions and you take those penalties – there is no reason why players who have taken LIV membership could not qualify or be available for selection.

“We take everything on a case by case basis,” he added. “Everything must be done in a fair, reasonable, proportionate way – that is what Sports Resolutions ruled on.

“All suspensions will count and you have to serve them. And the guys who’ve analysed this in detail have said if they do it the right way, there is no reason why they can’t play in the Ryder Cup.

“We’re not going to change anything on that basis. Rules are rules and they apply for every member.

“We’re not in a position to be changing rules that we’ve had to go to court to defend.”

jon rahm ryder cup

Guy Kinnings wants a quick decision between the tours and the PIF

You could offer a penny for the thoughts of LIV Golf’s Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter who resigned their DP World Tour memberships last May after they were sanctioned by the tour, following the decision of the Sports Resolutions panel.

Then in September, the tour received an enquiry from Garcia who’d offered to pay an estimated fine figure passing £700,000 if he could be eligible for Luke Donald’s blue and gold team to face the USA in Rome later that month, but his lack of membership ruled him out.

It has now become apparent that Rahm could play in the Andalucia Masters and the Open de France in September and October respectively having served suspensions, while the two DP World Tour playoff events in November could allow the Spaniard to play and fill his four-event requirement to keep membership heading into next year.

The case of Rahm and Hatton has become a key subplot in this embryonic stage of 2025 Ryder Cup build-up ever since they signed on the dotted line of LIV, joining Legion XIII GC.

When Rahm’s groundbreaking move to the breakway circuit was announced, Rory McIlroy wished for the rules to be changed to allow a path for Rahm to the Team Europe dressing room in which he was so instrumental in Italy.

As the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour remain locked in talks with the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund that bankrolls LIV Golf, the issue of Ryder Cup eligibility has been on the tips of our tongues. The prospect of Rahm and Hatton missing out for Donald’s second stint as captain in New York next year is a concerning one for Europe who want to win on away soil for the first time since 2012.

As well as addressing this conundrum, Kinnings spoke to golf’s ongoing diplomacy dilemma which began in June 6, 2023, the date the framework agreement between each of these three parties was announced. The hostility between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s primary investors appeared to be over, but players have continued to leave the PGA and DP World Tours in their droves to the start-up Saudi-backed circuit, and a compromise hasn’t been found.

Ideas of a ‘world tour’ have been touted and a March meeting between PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and the PGA Tour Policy Board signified progress. Kinnings would like the quickest solution possible and believes 2026 is the earliest that golf fans will see any type of collaborative golfing calendar.

“It has to be better for the professional game to find a single product and he is a very smart guy (Al-Rumayyan). He will know that,” Kinnings said.

“Everyone is going to have to give a bit to get to where you need to. The more you read headlines about viewership figures going down, people realise if they don’t move quickly there will be lasting damage.

“And I don’t think Yasir wants damage to the game, he clearly likes the game.

“The reality is the 2026 season needs to be the one where there are significant changes,” he added.

“To do that you’ve got to have it done by the end of 2024 to give yourself 2025 to prepare and roll it out. I will be doing everything I can to encourage people to make a decision as quickly as possible.

“The truth is people are having to do stuff they never thought they’d have to and they’ve got to be willing to compromise. If we find a solution we’ll have to move fast to make it work, but people have to get in a room first to talk about it.”

NOW READ: 54-hole mini tour beats LIV Golf to world ranking points

NOW READ: Tyrrell Hatton was ‘nervous’ to message Ryder Cup pals after last-minute LIV Golf move

Will we see another Jon Rahm Ryder Cup appearance in 2025? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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