'A Shame' LIV Golf Ryder Cup Legends 'Off The Table' - Luke Donald

The European Ryder Cup captain also stated that he's 'always tried to concentrate on players that, week in, week out, are committed to try and make the Ryder Cup'

Donald stares on at the PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Ryder Cup side has taken somewhat of a hit over the past month. After the DP World Tour won its February arbitration hearing against a number of its members who play in LIV Golf, many of those who joined the Saudi-backed circuit resigned their membership after fines and suspensions were issued.

Obviously, the news has affected Team Europe, with many legends of the Ryder Cup, like Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter not eligible to feature in either a playing or captaincy role. However, that's now by-the-by and, as current European Ryder Cup captain, Luke Donald, stated in a press conference at the PGA Championship, "ultimately, that was their decision."

Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald walk the fairways

Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy walk alongside Donald during a practice round at the 2023 PGA Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Donald, who took over the role after Henrik Stenson joined the LIV circuit back in July 2022, spoke ahead of the second Major of the year, with the former World No.1 stating: "As I said a couple weeks ago, it's a shame that there were some resignations. A lot of these guys have built their legacy around the DP World Tour and their participation and everything with the Ryder Cup. Ultimately, that was their decision and, unfortunately they're off the table now for selection purposes for myself."

He went on to add: "As I said, I've always tried to concentrate on looking at all the players that week in, week out are committed to try and make that Ryder Cup and that hasn't changed. My situation is what it is. I've got to always take what I have in front of me and kind of go forward. I'm still excited about all the players we have on offer, both rookies and established players, and I think our team will be very good."

Along with Team Europe, Team USA have also lost a number of individuals to LIV, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau all leaving the PGA Tour to pursue their venture elsewhere. Although the PGA Tour has imposed sanctions on these players, they are, theoretically, available to qualify or get picked for the American side, something which Donald hasn't spoken about with opposition captain, Zach Johnson.

Koepka, Johnson and DeChambeau talk during a LIV Golf press conference

Koepka, Johnson and DeChambeau are just three potential American players that could feature in Italy at the Ryder Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I think in terms of what Zach is doing and his options, I think that's kind of his call," claimed Donald. "Whether LIV players play on his team, again, I haven't really talked to him much about it as a captains' agreement. Let's not forget there's still LIV players that can still play on my team. They're still eligible if they're members of the Tour and were born in Europe. That is still a possibility for some guys...

"To be honest, I think that the team selections should be pretty separate. I'm in charge of the European team and what's best for us, and he's in charge of the US Team and what's best for him. I think that's just how it should be."

Getting underway at the end of September, there is still plenty of golf to be played between now and the first tee shot at Marco Simone. However, one thing that Donald openly admitted is that there will likely be rookies on his team, with the 45-year-old explaining that "there's a lot of different factors that go into it, but we'll have to see what the makeup is," adding later, "I probably won't go into names, but I think it's always good to see how potential rookies do in Major championships."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x