'The Decision Has Been Made' - Jon Rahm Expects Ryder Cup To Ban LIV Stars

The Spaniard thinks it's a matter of time before Ryder Cup bans for LIV players are confirmed

Jon Rahm looks on from the 17th tee during the final round of the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jon Rahm thinks it’s a matter of when, not if LIV Golf players are banned from featuring in future editions of the Ryder Cup.

The matter was thrust back into the spotlight when Ian Poulter took umbrage at what he felt was a sleight when Ryder Cup Europe failed to wish Sergio Garcia, the tournament’s record points-scorer, a happy birthday.

Rahm, who partnered Garcia to three wins from three in 2021 at Whistling Straits, has repeatedly called for the biennial contest not to be affected by golf’s ongoing civil war, but fears the decision has already been made.

Speaking on the No Laying Up podcast, he said: "I think the Ryder Cup posted a video of [Francesco] Molinari on his birthday, right? Like they were doing that. The day before I knew it was Sergio’s birthday and they didn't do it, so I think the decision has been made for me.

"I think the Ryder Cup is above, in my mind, the PGA Tour and any of those things. We don't get paid, we don't get points, we don't get anything except bragging rights if you win or lose. Period.

"I always try to think from the point of view of golf, what's best for golf and you want to see the best players there. Sergio is the greatest Ryder Cup player in history, statistically. There are some people that have made the European team what it is - Seve being one of them, Faldo, Monty, you have many staples on each European side. I think Sergio is one of them, Poulter's one of them.

"So when you've been part of the team, and you've made the team what it is, to not be allowed to be involved in any way, I don't necessarily agree with it. Plus, it's Europe against the US, it’s not the PGA Tour against LIV. So, to me, you should give those players the opportunity to be part of a team."

Whether or not the likes of Garcia, Poulter and Lee Westwood will be eligible for the 2023 match at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome could be decided next month, with a dispute resolution service in the UK set to rule on whether the DP World Tour has the right to sanction LIV players.

However, should the decision go against the tour, Rahm added that qualification onto Luke Donald's European side is far from a sure thing. 

"Even though it hurts me because I have so much fun with Sergio and we play so good that I would love to keep playing with him again, you have some young Europeans that maybe they wouldn't have made it. We have a lot of young players that will have a chance this time in Europe, so I'm hoping it could be a fresh start.

"We see what the US team did last Ryder Cup with a younger team. Not that we're going to win 19-9 or whatever it was but you have a fresher start on the team. There's always a positive in every situation. 

"But yeah, I think with that post, that decision was made already and they just haven't announced it. Both sides need to make a unanimous decision, right? You can't have one team allowing LIV and the other one not. I don't think that the PGA is going to allow LIV players to play but if they decided to do it, I think the European team should open that possibility."

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x