VIRGINIA WATER. England — Rory McIlroyWhen he runs into his Ryder Cup teammates from Wentworth this week dont expect them spend much time reminiscing over fond memories.
European Ryder Cup stalwarts Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood Ian PoulterMcIlroy and others who resisted the financial benefits of joining the Saudi-backed breakaway series, are among the LIV Golf players competing at the BMW PGA Championship.
McIlroys tears as he spoke of how much he loved his teammates during last years forgettable Ryder Cup Europe at Whistling Straits was one of the most memorable moments. When asked how his close-knit relationship with Garcia, Westwood, and Poulter could survive the fallout of LIV, McIlroy merely sighed.
McIlroy stated, I dont know. I wouldn’t say that I have a good relationship with them at the moment. … But, like I said, I haven’t done anything else. They made that decision. So I can just sit back and say that I have done nothing differently.
Shane LowryAlso, he said that it could be awkward meetings this week between players with whom he used to be good buddies .
Obviously I haven’t been to them in a long while now. Lowry stated that he doesnt want to spend time with them. We probably wont be going to dinner together because we haven’t seen each other. Yes, I do have certain lads with whom I will shake hands and some I wont.
LIV golfers that are European Tour members can play at Wentworth. However, their suspension for playing the first event in the breakaway series is being appealed. Legal appeals can also be made to their Ryder Cup status.
U.S. Open champion Matt FitzpatrickAlthough he was fed up with the whole situation, he acknowledged that current tensions could make a difficult inclusion of any LIV players on the Ryder Cup team next year.
Fitzpatrick stated, declining to name the player, that theres one person, who I would have, and who I would be okay with playing with and having on the team. But you know, next season is clearly a long way off, and there are many things to come with this whole situation. That might change things, or change attitudes, but it will most likely make it more difficult.
LIV Golf already affected the European Ryder Cup team for next season. Henrik StensonHe was stripped from the captaincy after joining the breakaway series. McIlroy chuckled when McIlroys name was mentioned at McIlroy’s news conference. He was the only person to win the PGA Tours FedEx Cup, and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. A feat that the Northern Irish golfer is trying to duplicate.
McIlroy stated that it would be difficult to stomach playing alongside LIV golfers, but he has yet to see them all at Wentworth.
McIlroy stated that My opinion is that they shouldnt but its not my opinion. He then took aim at LIV Golfs three-round format, which only allows for four rounds and starts on different holes. But, we are all going tee off on the first hole tomorrow, and we will all go play 72 holes, which is quite a novelty for them, and then well move on.
McIlroy claimed he was unable to attend the European Tour chief executive Keith Pelleys players meeting on Tuesday evening, which featured golfers from both groups.
McIlroy stated that It wasn’t really a situation where I wanted to get into knowing who was going in that room. So I kind of removed myself from it, and let them thrash about it.
Pelley didnt give details of the meeting at his own press conference. He stated that it was very short and that there were some questions from LIV-players that he thought we answered.
Pelley also defended both the financial viability of European Tour (rebranded as DP World Tour) and its ability to compete in the commercial market.
Pelley stated that it is easy to be dragged down and misinformed by the LIV propaganda machine. They create negative news stories about the state of traditional golfing, including our tour. Its just wrong.
McIlroy and Fitzpatrick will all be playing in the same group on Thursday, so they wont need to share the course until the weekend with any LIV players.
McIlroy couldn’t resist a jibe when McIlroy was asked about whether it would help him be more motivated to play in the final pairing Sunday with a player who has joined the Saudi-backed series.
They will be quite tired on Sunday, he stated, itll be the fourth.