LIV Rebel Adrian Otaegui Vows To ‘Fight To Try And Qualify’ For Ryder Cup
The LIV Golf player says he is determined to fight for a place in next year’s tournament
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When LIV Golf's Adrian Otaegui cruised to a stunning six-shot victory in the DP World Tour’s Andalucia Masters at Valderrama two weeks ago, it propelled him into the top six for Ryder Cup qualifying, making him one of the prime candidates for selection to the European team if eligible - and that’s something he has vowed to fight for.
Video: What Is LIV Golf?
This week, Otaegui will play in LIV Golf’s season-closing Team Championship for Torque GC at Trump National Doral in Florida after being invited to participate by its captain Joaquin Niemann. However, despite doubts over whether LIV Golf players will be allowed to play in the Ryder Cup, he explained qualifying is his main ambition for next year. Speaking to Golf Digest (opens in new tab), the 29-year-old said: “Making the Ryder Cup team is my big goal for 2023. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a child. I’m going to fight to try and qualify on the golf course.”
Even if Otaegui is selected, there are doubts about whether LIV Golf players would be welcomed by teammates. However, he doesn’t think that would be an issue. He said: “The way I see it, we all have different points of view, but we should be able to remain friends and [play on the same team]. I’m not fazed by what has been said so far.”
Otaegui admitted there had been a mixed reaction to his decision to play for LIV Golf. He said: “Obviously, everyone is free to have an opinion. Some people, fans and friends, have been supportive. But some people have not been so happy. There are all kinds of opinions. Some people were not so keen [on me playing LIV] before [LIV’s inaugural tournament] in London but since then they have realised this is a tour that’s going to be here for a while.”
The status of LIV Golf players on the DP World Tour is undecided pending a hearing set for February next year. However, ahead of the Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in September, European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald denied there was tension with the LIV Golf players who participated.
He also refused to be drawn on speculation on whether he would potentially select LIV Golf players as wild cards for next year’s tournament at Rome's Marco Simone Golf and Country Club. He said: “It’s hard to answer that because it’s all hypotheticals, and to be honest, I haven’t really been spending any kind of my energy on it because there’s so many unknowns right now. Once this legal situation passes I’ll have a better understanding.”
For now, Otaegui’s focus will be on this week’s tournament in Florida, with $50 million on offer, of which $16 million will be shared between the four members of the winning team. Otaegui will play in the quarter-finals, where he and Scott Vincent will be hoping to help Torque GC progress in a foursomes match against Graeme McDowell and Richard Bland.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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