'It's Sad' That Ian Poulter 'Probably' Won't Be Ryder Cup Captain - Paul McGinley

The Ryder Cup legend may never captain Europe after joining LIV Golf, which Paul McGinley admitted is "sad"

Ian Poulter looks on after hitting a drive at the 2021 Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul McGinley says "it's sad" that Ian Poulter will probably never captain Europe at the Ryder Cup after moving to LIV Golf.

Poulter is synonymous with the Ryder Cup, playing for Europe seven times and winning five Ryder Cups. His most iconic appearance came at Medinah in 2012, where he birdied the final five holes on Saturday afternoon to win a crucial point alongside Rory McIlroy and give Jose Maria Olazabal's side momentum heading into the incredible 10-6 comeback on the final day.

The Englishman, who has never lost a singles match at the Ryder Cup, looked odds-on to be Europe's captain at the highly anticipated 2025 match at Bethpage Black until his move to the Saudi-backed start-up.

McGinley, Europe's 2014 winning captain at Gleneagles, told the Mail on Sunday that it's "sad" that Poulter is "probably" never going to be captain and also said that LIV players have "removed themselves" from the biennial match due to LIV financially "harming" the DP World Tour.

"Next to Seve, he’s probably been the most influential player from a European perspective in Ryder Cups," McGinley said on Ian Poulter.

"It’s phenomenal what he’s done for us. And it’s sad that he’s probably not going to be a captain, or certainly not in the foreseeable future. Everybody had him down to be captain in New York. 

"I’m not going to close the door to that, but it’s odds-against now. There’s consequences with big decisions. And these are big decisions. The Ryder Cup is partly owned by the European Tour. 

"These guys are involved in an entity that is now harming the European Tour, financially. So, unfortunately, they’ve removed themselves from the Ryder Cup, as far as I’m concerned."

Ian Poulter Ryder Cup

Poulter has been on five winning teams in seven Ryder Cup appearances

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Poulter recently said "shame on them [Ryder Cup Europe]" if LIV players were not allowed to be captains despite years of supporting the European-based circuit.

"And if the DP World Tour chose to not have any LIV golfer as captain after they have supported them and still do for over 25 years then shame on them," Poulter said in an Instagram Q&A. "Sad but that's on them. Time will tell and once all the info is out things will change I'm sure."

In his Netflix Full Swing episode, he also said it would be "devastating" to not be captain. "There's so many deciding factors in all of this," he said in episode 3 of the eight-part docuseries.

"I love the Ryder Cup and if one day I get the opportunity to become Ryder Cup captain I would absolutely love it. If you do play for LIV, would it be a factor in not being able to be a captain down the road? It would be devastating if it was taken away, that would be really disappointing.”

Ian Poulter hits a drive at the LIV Mayakoba event

Poulter now co-captains the Majesticks GC franchise in the LIV Golf League

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In Paul McGinley's wide-ranging interview with the Mail on Sunday, where the Irishman was speaking to promote the Legends Tour, he also admitted that he might have joined LIV in his playing days due to the financial lure.

"You know, in all probability, I may well have gone to LIV at 46, 47 years of age,’ McGinley said.

"If I’m offered $20, $30 million to go and play in a rival league, I’d have done it. But I wouldn’t have done the LIV Tour then come back and played the European Tour as well. I think that’s greedy.

"You can’t be on both buses. As great as those players were from Ryder Cups, and as great as they have been for European Tour and, you know, they’re personal friends of mine, I have a disagreement with them."

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 team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five 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 off of a six handicap. 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

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV