Billy Foster 'Would Include' LIV Golf Rebels In European Ryder Cup Set-Up

Billy Foster wants the likes of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia involved in the Ryder Cup even if just on the backroom staff

Billy Foster
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Veteran caddie Billy Foster says he’d like to see the European Ryder Cup stalwarts who joined LIV Golf still involved in the event this year, even if just as part of Luke Donald’s backroom staff.

Henrik Stenson was meant to be European captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone GC in Rome in September, before he had to give up the role after joining LIV Golf.

The likes of Lee Westwood, record Ryder Cup points scorer Sergio Garcia and even ‘The Postman’ himself Ian Poulter all joined LIV in a move that seemingly ended their hopes of playing any further part in the tournament.

The legal case on whether the DP World Tour can ban LIV players from competing in their events and from making the Ryder Cup is ongoing, but the veterans were likely being lined up as future captains over the next few years.

Now on the bag of US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, Foster told Garrett Johnston on his Beyond The Clubhouse podcast that he feels the Ryder Cup stalwarts playing for LIV should have some involvement in the competition.

“Personally I’d like to see the likes of Westwood, Stenson, Poulter, Garcia still be involved in Ryder Cups,” Foster said on Beyond The Clubhouse.

“Alright, it’s at a stage where they might not be playing anymore, but they’ve certainly given so much over the last 20 years, inside the locker room and on the golf course just to not include them for their experience, even if it’s in the backroom staff or whatever, I’d still love to see those guys involved.

“Maybe I don’t know enough about it, and maybe there is a lot of bitter and twistedness and guys not liking them going to that side and coming back in.

“But they’re very inspirational European players and to not include them, for me, I wouldn’t be doing it, I would include them.”

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Foster is also among the group of people in the game that feel LIV Golf players should be allowed to play in DP World Tour events, to make sure the best players in the world are involved.

“Personally I just like to see the best players – the PGA Tour is a different animal I know that, but in Europe, for me, would you like to see some very average players, I’m not naming names, or would you like to say, well, actually what if Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Cam Smith, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter want to play in Wentworth or wherever it is. I’m sure the public would love to see them.

“Some guys on both sides of the pond think those guys that have left, why should they make fortunes on LIV and then come and cherry pick where they play. But what the answer is, I don’t know.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.