Rory McIlroy hopes LIV Golf rebels can still play in Ryder Cup after being swayed by ‘boatloads of cash’

The Northern Irishman’s opposition to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series has been very public and long-standing.

Rory McIlroy hopes the likes of European team-mate Sergio Garcia can still be involved in the Ryder Cup despite signing up for the LIV Golf Series (David Davies/PA)
Rory McIlroy hopes the likes of European team-mate Sergio Garcia can still be involved in the Ryder Cup despite signing up for the LIV Golf Series (David Davies/PA)

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy hopes European team-mates Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood can still be involved in the Ryder Cup despite opting to take “boatloads of cash” from the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The Northern Irishman’s opposition to the Saudi-backed events has been very public and long-standing and while the breakaway has created some friction with the PGA and DP World Tours the world number eight is hopeful it will not impact the biennial contest with the United States.

“Yes, I think they should be able to (feature in the Ryder Cup). They’ve been such a part of the Ryder Cup and look at the history Poults has at the Ryder Cup,” he said.

“It would be such a shame for him not to be involved going forward.

“It’s hard because they are playing in defiance of the Tour but I think everyone needs to get in a room and figure it out.

“I feel like the professional game was on a nice trajectory where everything was becoming more cohesive and now it’s becoming more fractured again and I don’t think that’s a good thing.”

McIlroy was quick to distance himself from the LIV Golf series, with Hertfordshire’s Centurion Club hosting the inaugural event over the next three days.

But while he did not want to criticise the players involved he believes some have taken a short-term view.

“I think my stance on it has been pretty clear from the start,” he added.

“It’s not something that I want to participate in. I’m certainly not knocking anyone for going. It’s their life, it’s their decision, they can live it the way they want to.

“But for me I want to play on the PGA Tour against the best players in the world.

“We all know why everyone’s playing in London this week, it’s boatloads of cash and it’s money up front and I get it.

“I think they’re thinking very short-term. Some of these guys are younger than me and have their whole careers ahead of them. That’s the thing I don’t get.”

Phil Mickelson refused to comment on whether he had been suspended by the PGA Tour (Steve Paston/PA)

Phil Mickelson has refused to confirm or deny if he has been banned or suspended by the PGA Tour for his involvement in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Mickelson has not competed since February’s Saudi International, missing the Masters and his title defence in the US PGA Championship following the fallout from his explosive comments about Saudi Arabia and the PGA Tour.

The six-time major winner described the Saudis as “scary m************” and said he was well aware of Saudi Arabia’s “horrible record on human rights” – including the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi – in an interview with the author of an unauthorised biography.

Yet he added that working with the Saudis was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates”’ and also accused the Tour of “obnoxious greed”.

The 51-year-old’s lengthy absence led to speculation that he had been suspended but when asked to comment he said: “I choose not to speak publicly on PGA Tour issues at this time.”

He also declined to confirm if he was receiving USD 200million (£159.5m) to compete in the LIV Golf events, but his answer indicated that the reported amount may well be accurate.

“I feel that contract agreements should be private,” Mickelson added. “Doesn’t seem to be the case, but it should be.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in