Jon Rahm Says LIV Golfers Should Be Eligible For Ryder Cup: «Best Europeans Against Best Americans, Period»


LIV Golf is once again making things a bit confusing in the world of golf.

The 2023 Ryder Cup is fast approaching, and frankly, its entrants are up in the air thanks to the Saudi-backed tour and a recent dominating performance by one of its members.

The qualifications for American golfers and European golfers differ. To be eligible for the American side, a player must be a member of the PGA of America. American golfers in LIV have a grace period in which they can still earn points, but only in the majors. However, thanks to Brooks Koepka’s victory at the PGA Championship and a T2 finish at the Masters, he was able to automatically qualify.

However, for Europeans, they must be members of the DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour). That leaves out Ryder Cup veterans like Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and former captain Henrik Stenson.


Jon Rahm of Spain watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 9, 2023, in Augusta, Georgia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Sergio Garcia has been told he has «no chance» to play this year, despite being the European Ryder Cup points leader, which has upset defending Masters champion Jon Rahm.

Rahm and Garcia went 3-0-0 in the 2021 Ryder Cup, despite the USA’s dominant 19-9 win at Whistling Straits.

«IM gonna miss [Garcia]. We had a great partnership at Whistling Straits,» Rahm said earlier this week on Muirfield Village before the Memorial Tournament. «I’m going to bring up history one more time. A Spanish duo in the Ryder Cup… is embedded in the roots of the Ryder Cup. Watch with Seve [Ballesteros] and Ollie [Jose Maria Olazabal] you were able to do throughout your association, right? So it’s a bit sad to me that politics got in the way of such a beautiful event.»

Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia

Jon Rahm of Spain and Team Europe (L) Sergio Garcia of Spain and Team Europe celebrate on the 4th green during the Friday morning Foursome matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 24, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Patricio Smith/Getty Images)


Rahm feels the tour partnership should mean nothing when it comes to the Ryder Cup.

«Again, it’s the best Europeans against the best Americans, period. And no matter what, who plays LIV and who doesn’t play LIV shouldn’t matter to me. It’s whoever is best suited to represent the European side. And I find it hard to believe that… the most successful player Europe has ever had in the Ryder Cup is not fit to be in the team. So, it’s unfortunate. I will miss him. But having said that, I want to be hopeful. There are a couple of Spanish guys playing very well at the moment, so I hope they can join me on the team.»

Rahm’s sentiments are the opposite of one of his Ryder Cup teammates, Rory McIlroy, who said at the Memorial that Koepka, thanks to his performance, should be the only LIV golfer in Rome later this year.

Rahm and Sergio at the Ryder Cup

Jon Rahm of Spain and the Europe team (L) and Sergio Garcia of Spain and the Europe team celebrate during the Friday morning Foursome matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 24, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Patricio Smith/Getty Images)


«But I have different feelings about the European team and the other side and how all of that happened, and yeah, I don’t think any of those guys should be part of the European team.»

Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau top the members of the 2021 USA team likely not to play (neither played in the 2022 Presidents Cup), while Bernd Wiesberger, Paul Casey, Westwood, Poulter and Garcia all played for Europe in 2021, but most they probably won’t. making the trip to Rome.

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