Exclusive: Divide Appearing In European Ryder Cup Team Over LIV Defectors

Some Europeans do not want to share a team room with LIV Golf players, Golf Monthly understands, with the Tour leaning towards issuing Ryder Cup bans

Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A divide is appearing in the European Ryder Cup team over the fate of the LIV Golf defectors and the DP World Tour may be leaning towards Ryder Cup bans, Golf Monthly understands.

The Ryder Cup has been rocked by the LIV Golf Invitational Series and almost certainly will look very different next year without big US names like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed.

However, it is the European team that is more interesting as no decision has currently been made on whether the likes of Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and others will be allowed to qualify for the side or captain their continent in the future.

Golf Monthly understands that the DP World Tour, which runs the biennial match along with the PGA of America, has the feeling that no player is bigger than the Ryder Cup and that the match would still be a success without some of the sport's biggest names. 

The Tour is thought to be leaning towards banning LIV Golf players, with a decision set to be made before the start of the qualification period, which is not yet known. Tour CEO Keith Pelley last week said that he would not be making comment on the Ryder Cup until the qualification process had begun.

Golf Monthly is hearing that there may be a divide appearing as some players don't want to share a team room with LIV players who have subsequently weakened the DP World Tour by heading to the Saudi-backed series.

It's also understood that European LIV Golf players may have felt they could remain DP World Tour members and still play in the Ryder Cup, although that may not be the case.

If the DP World Tour were to ban LIV Golf players, the European side would still be very strong with McIlroy, Rahm, Hovland, Fitzpatrick, Hatton and Lowry all looking locks for Henrik Stenson's team.

Ryder Cup bans would exclude the likes of Poulter, Westwood, Garcia, Wiesberger, McDowell, Kaymer and Horsfield.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5