The 2023 Ryder Cup at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome is just 121 days away. Rosters for Team USA and the European Team are not yet set.
World #1 and #2, Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm, will both be trying their hardest to bring the Ryder Cup trophy home for their team. They’ll almost certainly be pitted against one another in at least one match but 4 months out their on the same side.
To be fair, sentiment towards LIV Golf has changed drastically in recent months. It seemed the major tipping point was just weeks ago when Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship and was welcomed with cheers all over the course.
Asked about LIV golfers being invited to compete in the Ryder Cup, Scottie Scheffler told reporters he does “not care about tours or anything like that.” Signaling yes, LIV golfers like Brooks Koepka should be welcome on Team USA.
It is more complicated in Europe where Team Captain Henrik Stenson was removed from his captainship after joining the LIV Golf Tour. Speaking about LIV involvement in the Ryder Cup, world #2 Jon Rahm had a lot to say.
At Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament, Rahm said:
“It’s a little sad that politics have gotten in the way of such a beautiful event. Again, it’s the best Europeans against the best Americans, period. And whatever is going on, who is playing LIV and who is not playing LIV to me, shouldn’t matter. It’s whoever is best suited to represent the European side.”
Speaking specifically about fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia who has the greatest Ryder Cup resume of any golfer ever, Rahm added:
I have a hard time [believing] that the best player Europe has ever had. The most successful player Europe has had on the Ryder Cup, isn’t fit to be on the team. I’m going to miss him.
We had a great partnership at Whistling Straights [in 2021]. I’m going to mention history again one more time. A Spanish duo in the Ryder Cup is embedded in the roots of Ryder Cup [history]. Look what Seve (Ballesteros) and (José María Olazábal) were able to do throughout their partnership, right?”
I recently had the chance to interview Colin Montgomerie who has arguably the second best Ryder Cup resume in European history behind Sergio Garcia.
Colin Montgomerie On LIV Golf Participation In The Ryder Cup
I asked him if there would be any LIV golfers on Team Europe. Monty said:
“Yeah, it’s a difficult one… I can’t see any LIV players playing on our team. Mainly because the guys that went to LIV Golf on our side, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Sergio, these types of guys were on their way out of the of the Ryder Cup scene anyway as players.”
“The Americans are going to miss more the likes the Brooks Koepka‘s, the Dustin Johnson’s, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, these types of guys would still possibly be accountable for that Ryder Cup.”
“So, I feel that the Americans would lose out more. Whether they’re going to be allowed to play or not, I’m not sure. But the Europeans have not lost out in that sense, as much as the Americans will, if that’s the case.”
A LOT can change between now and when the Ryder Cup teams are announced on September 3rd.
There will be 12 LIV golfers competing in the U.S. Open next week. That roster includes Abraham Ancer, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Joaquin Niemann, Mito Pereira, Thomas Pieters, Patrick Reed and Cameron Smith.
3 of those 12, should they win the U.S. Open or even finish top-5, could make a very strong case for being included on Team Europe regardless of LIV golf status.