Matt Fitzpatrick says he's "not bothered" if LIV Golf players feature on this year's European Ryder Cup team despite strong opposition from the likes of Rory McIlroy.
McIlroy has insisted that "I don't think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team" but the reigning US Open champion just wants the strongest team possible for Europe.
"It might be some players from other places in the world," Fitzpatrick said of Luke Donald's Team Europe in an interview with Sky Sports (opens in new tab).
"I think there definitely are a few personal relationships that have been dented by this [the LIV vs PGA Tour civil war]. I'm not bothered, I just want to win, and I'm sure those boys do too."
Fitzpatrick has played in two Ryder Cups - 2016 and 2021 - where last time out he partnered fellow Yorkshireman and close friend Lee Westwood, now at LIV Golf, in the foursomes.
He also partnered Westwood's fellow LIV player Henrik Stenson at Hazeltine in 2016, with the Swede highly unlikely to feature in any capacity this year after being ousted as captain when he joined LIV Golf.
"It was a tough one because he had started gearing up for Rome, making notes and putting plans together," Fitzpatrick said of the Ice Man, who lasted just 127 days as captain. "And then it's like, 'sorry, lads, I'm off.'"
One player the Englishman thinks Europe would miss is the Ryder Cup's all-time points scorer Sergio Garcia, who has taken himself out of consideration for the event after failing to meet his DP World Tour card criteria for not playing the minimum number of tournaments or a single event in Spain last season.
“I honestly don't know,” Garcia told Marca (opens in new tab) regarding if his Ryder Cup options are still zero. “First because I didn't play the minimum number of tournaments last year and I don't think I can qualify. But as I said at the time, I don't know if I want to be part of the team.”
The Spaniard also said some members of the European side "have shown very little class."
"Sergio would be the one that would stand out for me, particularly," Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports.
"I don't know the details of [his relationship with McIlroy]. I'm happy to share a room with him, if that's going to be the case, I can corner him off for everyone else."
Fitzpatrick also doesn't seem to have an issue with the start-up tour itself, but more with players who continue to use the DP World Tour as a place to earn world ranking points. The likes of Abraham Ancer and Talor Gooch received criticism for playing in the BMW PGA Championship despite never really supporting the DP World Tour previously, for example.
"As long as you go and don't come back, I don't have an issue," he said. "Go take the money, go play wherever you want, I could not care less, just don't come back and then take spots from other guys that want to play.
"I understand that there's the likes of Westy, Poulter and Sergio that have played a lot in Europe over the years and have done their bit, and they have. I can't ever knock them for that, they've done way more than I have for the European Tour."
Fitzpatrick makes his 2023 debut at Kapalua this week in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The elevated purse tournament features a $15m prize pool and a total of 17 of the world's top 20 players. Rory McIlroy is skipping the event, after it was revealed that players are allowed to miss one of the newly-mandated elevated purse tournaments that were introduced in retaliation to the LIV Golf threat.
Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer 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. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, 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 2-6. 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: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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