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Keith Pelley: ‘I have no influence on the Ryder Cup’

The DP World Tour chief has made it clear he won't be him calling the shots when it comes to whether or not European captain Luke Donald can pick LIV Golf players
 

Keith Pelley is approaching his fourth Ryder Cup as CEO of the DP World Tour during the most turbulent period of his time as the circuit’s boss.

After the tour won its arbitration case and the right to fine players who played in the first LIV Golf event at Centurion last June, Pelley is out the shackles and can speak freely on the issues we all want answers for.

One of these issues is the Ryder Cup itself and the eligibility of LIV players to tee it up in Italy in September.

US captain Zach Johnson recently stated that as long as prospective American players are members of the PGA of America, they are eligible – and Pelley asserted he has no part to play in team selection.

“There are two criteria to get on our Ryder Cup team. You need to be a DP World Tour member and you need to qualify,” he told No Laying Up.

“Luke [Donald] can also make one of his six picks and that’s totally at his discretion. We are in no way saying that the players can’t qualify.

“The challenge the LIV players are going to have is: they have to play so many events on the other tour. Those are up against our events, so they’re not going to have the opportunity to get as many points.

“And then depending on what happens to the sanctions, it’s going to make it more difficult. So, it’s going to be more difficult for them to qualify.

“It comes down to how well they play in the respective majors and how the respective captains believe that A – they’re in form and B – be a positive vibe with the chemistry for those teams.

“I have never and will not influence any of the captain’s picks, even if I wanted to – that isn’t going to happen anyway.

“It’s up to Luke and from my understanding, I haven’t talked to the PGA of America and Seth Waugh about this, but it’s up to Zach Johnson as well.

“The reality is, Italy is going to be something incredibly special and I have always believed the Ryder Cup is a brand that is bigger than the players.”

keith pelley

Thomas Pieters is the highest-ranked LIV player on the European and World Points lists for Team Europe, but he is some way from achieving automatic qualification.

Adrian Otaegui is on the cusp of the top 10 of each list, but he isn’t part of the LIV roster in 2023.

Brooks Koepka is currently ranked 17th in the US Ryder Cup standings after coming tied second at the Masters. Phil Mickelson is the next best-placed LIV player in 23rd.

This is the essence of how difficult it will be for LIV players to qualify on merit, but good performances throughout 2023 could force the hand of Johnson and Donald with their picks.

Talor Gooch shot two rounds of 62 on his way to winning the LIV Golf Adelaide event, while the likes of Koepka and Patrick Reed caught the eye with their performances at Augusta National.

“I don’t know who those six (picks) are going to be, but their ownership and their opinions will weigh heavily into what I, what we, decide to do,” Johnson recently said on the subject.

Will any LIV Golf players compete in the Ryder Cup? Tweet us!

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 spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

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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