'We’re On Different Sides Now' - McGinley On Former Ryder Cup Teammates

The former Ryder Cup captain also stated that not one player on the DP World Tour 'wants the LIV guys in our tournaments'

McGinley watches his tee shot with a driver in his hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Interviewed by The Times (opens in new tab), Paul McGinley spoke in-depth about a range of topics, from LIV Golf to the Ryder Cup. Having been in the game for decades, the 55-year-old has seen it all, with the Irishman a Ryder Cup winning captain, as well as now being a member of the European Tour's Tournament Committee and Board of Directors.

Next week signals the start of the DP World Tour's flagship event at Wentworth, a competition that has been a big talking point in the golf world as multiple LIV golfers are set to tee it up in Surrey. 

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood during the first LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament in London

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are just two LIV golfers who will be featuring at Wentworth

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Players like Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick have stated that they feel "disappointed", as McGinley agreed that: “It’s a sad moment," when speaking to The Times.

“It breaks my heart because I have an emotional connection with every one of those players. I will see (Ian) Poulter and I’ll shake his hand at Wentworth, the same with (Lee) Westwood and all of those guys that I shared team rooms with. That bond will never be broken.

“But you know, definitely, we’re on different sides now. And it’s really sad that it has come to this. Every one of those players knew the consequences when they signed with LIV. They also knew there was the potential for the Ryder Cup to be collateral damage in all of this. They still think they can play in the Ryder Cup. Who knows what’s going to happen in six months’ time? I think, at this stage, it’s highly unlikely that any of them will be involved in the Ryder Cup again.

“If this is how it pans out, it won’t be because of Keith Pelley (DP World Tour chief executive) or the board say so, but because our members, the players who have remained loyal to our tour, don’t want the LIV guys anywhere near the Ryder Cup. The feeling is that you cannot play (for) both sides. Mo Salah doesn’t get to play for Liverpool one week and Real Madrid the next. LIV is a rival tour.”

McGinley sits next to the Ryder Cup

McGinley captained the European Ryder Cup team to a 16.5 - 11.5 win in 2014

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Martin Kaymer, who moved to the Saudi-backed series, recently announced that he won't be teeing it up at Wentworth, with the former World No.1 explaining that: "There will be friction there, that's why I'm not going. I don't need to go to a place where, feel-wise, you're not that welcome. They don't say it, but (it's there)."

Back in July, it was reported that 16 LIV golfers threatened the DP World Tour with legal action after being banned from the Scottish Open. In the process, they were fined £100,000. Following the report, Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding had their Scottish Open bans "temporarily stayed", with Branden Grace also added to the field not long after.

For McGinley, he states that: “The key to the anger felt by the ordinary, non-LIV members of the DP World Tour is that these guys, who’ve taken the big money from LIV, think they’re entitled to come back and take the places of players who support our tour week-in, week-out.

“The LIV players don’t turn up for €2 or €3 million tournaments in the Czech Republic or Switzerland, but they come for the £6 million tournament at Wentworth. This has led to a lot of resentment. Keith [Pelley] has spoken to virtually every one of our players. Not one wants the LIV guys in our tournaments.”

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.