Paul Casey will be watching the Ryder Cup from home in 2023, but believes he and two other LIV Golf colleagues could’ve helped Team Europe to beat the USA
Paul Casey says Europe will miss not one, but two key figures at the Ryder Cup.
Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter appeared to bid farewell to their Ryder Cup futures when resigning their DP World Tour memberships after joining LIV Golf.
Casey joined them, but the 46-year-old believes the void left by two of Europe’s greatest servants in the event could hamper their chances against America at Marco Simone next month.
“If I’m healthy, I still feel I could be useful at a Ryder Cup. And I’m not alone in that,” Casey said to Golf Digest.
“Let’s say Ian Poulter isn’t playing the golf he wants to play, or has played in the past. And so won’t be part of the 12-man team. I would still have him be involved.
“That’s what is going to be missing in Rome, guys like Poulter and [Lee] Westwood in the locker room. I’ve been in those locker rooms. The pundits and the commentators have not.”
Henrik Stenson’s decision to join LIV Golf saw him removed as Europe’s captain in 2023, the first sign any association with LIV Golf would lead to exile from the event.
This was arguably the first sign of “damage” that Casey wants fixed with the European Ryder Cup team that hasn’t lost on home soil since 1993.
Casey last played for Europe in 2021 at Whistling Straits. Despite being humbled 19-9, the five-time Team Europe member said Padraig Harrington was maybe the best captain he’s ever played under.
His former teammate Luke Donald will lead Europe in Rome but, Casey believes the continent could face trouble when looking for future team leaders.
“It has to be fixed. Keith Pelley (DP World Tour chief executive) has admitted that. He’s had conversations with people I know and he has admitted that. They have a captain issue in the future.
“I love that Luke is captain. I know him well and he has my respect. I want him to be a great captain, which he will be – win, lose or draw.
“The Ryder Cup is so valuable in terms of what it gives to golf in Europe, not just monetarily. We don’t want that to be damaged any more than it has been already.
“I don’t watch a lot of golf outside of the majors. But I will certainly watch the Ryder Cup. And I might just have a piece of Euro team clothing on under my top. I won’t have the commentary on though,” he said with a laugh.”
Is there a solution to the division within Team Europe?
As the PGA Tour moves towards an agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, it is still unclear how this could impact the Ryder Cup.
With prize money so prominently at the forefront of the game, Casey feels something else should be prioritised for the game to grow, so to speak:
“More consideration needs to be given to the needs and wants of the fans.
“That doesn’t get talked about enough. And certainly not enough by those making the big decisions. All of this can’t be just about business. That frustrates me and probably many others.
“It doesn’t matter whether I am part of the DP World Tour or the PGA Tour or LIV, we are all part of the issue and so the solution. But we are not all swimming in the same direction right now. That’s my biggest concern. This needs to be about the consumers.”
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