In the space of 24 hours, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm have expressed completely opposite views on who should play for Europe at the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Jon Rahm wants to keep “politics” out of the debate and welcome back the likes of Sergio Garcia to Luke Donald’s side in order to pit the best Europe against the best America in Italy.
But, McIlroy disagrees.
He recognises things could be different for Zach Johnson’s Team USA with the performances of a certain Brooks Koepka, who has risen to second in his team’s rankings after winning the PGA Championship.
The Northern Irishman has not been quiet in his opposition to LIV Golf and its players in the last 12 months, and he wishes for them to be kept from his team’s dressing room at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.
“I certainly think Brooks deserves to be on the United States team,” McIlroy said at the Memorial Tournament. “With how he’s played, he’s second in the US standings, (and) only played two counting events.
“I don’t know if there’s anyone else on the LIV roster that would make the team on merit and how they’re playing. But Brooks is definitely a guy that deserves to be on the US team.
“But I have different feelings about the European team and the other side and how that has all transpired and I don’t think any of those guys should be a part of the European team.”
There have been mixed signals from players about their interpersonal relationships since LIV Golf’s inception in June 2022.
All seemed harmonious and well at the Masters, but then other cases such as McIlroy and Garcia’s public break-up suggest all isn’t as friendly as first thought.
Back in February, Garcia said his old Ryder Cup team partner lacked maturity after “throwing away” the memories they’d shared together during their careers.
The 2017 Masters champion resigned his DP World Tour membership after a phone call with Donald supposedly put an end to his Ryder Cup career which saw him become the event’s record points scorer.
With Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Henrik Stenson all giving up their cards in Europe, it appears increasingly unlikely any of Greg Norman’s roster could play in blue and gold in 2023.
McIlroy and Rahm will be pivotal in Europe’s quest to wrestle back the cup they so brutally lost to America at Whistling Straits in 2021.
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