England's Lee Westwood feels any player who fulfills the criteria to be a DP World Tour member should be able to qualify for Ryder CupReuters
As golfers prepare for the second LIV Golf event on the schedule outside Portland this week, "among the many possible unknowns for taking part in the LIV Golf Invitational Series is how it will impact a player’s future participation as either a Ryder Cup player, captain or both," according to Bob Harig of MORNING READ. For many players with a long history in the event, "they are aware of the possible ramifications -- and don’t believe there should be any." England's Lee Westwood, who has played in a record-tying 11 Ryder Cups, said "the criteria has been to be a member of the European Tour" and that "the criteria for being a member of the European Tour is to play four events." Westwood: "I’ve been a member of the PGA Tour and still played four events on the PGA Tour, and why would the European Tour change their rules so dramatically because another tour doesn’t like it or feels financially threatened?" Westwood later added, "I think as long as you fulfill the criteria to be a European Tour member, then you should still have the opportunity to try and qualify for the Ryder Cup team." Harig noted the U.S. side of things is a little clearer, as U.S. players such as Patrick Reed "might be shut out." Players like Reed "resigned his PGA Tour membership and players can only earn points via PGA Tour events" and "others who have not resigned have been suspended" (SI.com, 6/29).
ALWAYS A RISK: In London, John Westerby writes that Europe's all-time leading Ryder Cup point scorer Sergio Garcia "had a more pragmatic view" about his place on Ryder Cup teams going forward. When asked if he thought there was a risk to his decision to sign up, Garcia said, "Yeah, I guess there was." Garcia: "You never knew how everyone was going to act." Garcia went on to say, "Obviously you were hoping that it wouldn’t change … I hope that I still have the possibility, as I’m sure they do [his fellow hopefuls] too, to be a part of a few more Ryder Cup teams but that’s not going to depend on us now" (LONDON TIMES, 6/30).
CONNECT THE DOTS: Zach Johnson, who will captain the 2023 U.S. Ryder Cup team, said when asked about LIV golfers making the squad that "in order to play on the Ryder Cup team, whether you're top six or a (captain's) pick, you must garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America." He went on to say that "in order to garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America, you have to be a member of the PGA of America" and that "the way that we're members of the PGA of America is through the PGA Tour." Johnson: "I'll let you connect the dots from there" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 6/29).