LIV Golf rebels will HATE these Ryder Cup comments from captain Luke Donald

European players on LIV Golf could find it tough to break into Donald's team, even if they are eligible...

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 14 Dec 2022
LIV Golf rebels will HATE these Ryder Cup comments from captain Luke Donald

A number of European players currently on LIV Golf will not be impressed with what 2023 Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald has just revealed on the 5 Clubs Conversation with Gary Williams. 

Donald, who was handed the Ryder Cup reigns earlier this year after Henrik Stenson was controversially sacked due to joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour, believes a number of European stalwarts now on LIV Golf are coming to the end of their careers. 

LIV Golf players Donald, 45, is referring to are Ryder Cup heroes Lee Westwood (49), Ian Poulter (46), Henrik Stenson (46), Paul Casey (45), Graeme McDowell (43) and Sergio Garcia (42). 

Martin Kaymer is likely another in this bracket, now aged 37 and hardly finding a great deal of form these days. 

As it stands, LIV players are not completely shut out of entering the Ryder Cup as they could rely on being picked by Donald. 

But given the Englishman's latest comments below, it's fair to say few of them are in his thinking right now. 

Even before a court hearing...

Donald is particularly looking forward to the inaugural Hero Cup on the DP World Tour in the second week of January 2023, a new team event between GB & Ireland and Europe that he is hosting over in Abu Dhabi. 

This will give him a better chance to see the next crop of European stars up close and personal, and in a team environment. 

You can check out the players competing in the Hero Cup at the bottom of this article. 

Donald is hoping the next generation of DP World Tour talent will now fill the shoes of those nearing the end of their careers. 

"You can get a little bit of an idea from the Hero Cup that’s coming up," Donald said on the 5 Clubs Conversation

"First of all it’s a great opportunity to get some younger guys into the team room, playing together and seeing how they bond.

"This is an important step to bring a matchplay event back to the European schedule.

"There are some great young players. I’m very excited about some of the core players who have started playing well again but there’s a new generation of players who are hungry to make that Ryder Cup."

But those were not the best of Donald's latest comments. We'll come on to those shortly... 

European Ryder Cup qualification will conclude on September 3, 2023, a full three weeks ahead of the Ryder Cup week, when the six players who qualify automatically will be confirmed.

These six automatic qualifiers will comprise the three leading players on the European Points List followed by the three leading players on the World Points List.

As it stands, these players include Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry, Viktor Hovland, Alex Noren and Adrian Otaegui, the latter of whom has dabbled in several LIV Golf tournaments in 2022. 

But of course much will change over the next nine months. 

McIlroy, Rahm, Lowry, Hovland would certainly be locks in the team, you would have to think, providing they all stay fit and healthy ahead of the biennial clash. 

Tommy Fleetwood, who recently won the Nedbank Golf Challenge to move on the cusp of an automatic place, would also have to fancy his chances of making Donald's side. 

Whether or not recent Andalucia Masters champion Otaegui plays tournaments on LIV Golf in 2023 remains to be seen.

LIV Golf players with DP World Tour membership must wait until February 2023 for the next hearing to learn whether or not they can continue teeing it up on the former European Tour circuit. 

Otaegui has nevertheless vowed to fight for a debut in the Ryder Cup. 

Donald recently told how he's "trying to not to think about" the crunch LIV Golf hearing ahead of the Ryder Cup. 

Poulter, along with all other LIV Golf players, remains banned by the PGA Tour

But not Garcia and McDowell though, as they have already decided to bin off their memberships on the PGA Tour.

This is something former World No.1 Dustin Johnson has done, meaning his Ryder Cup career is over. 

Johnson, you may remember, went 5-0 in the last Ryder Cup. 

He now unthinkably finds himself down at 41st in the Official World Golf Rankings as LIV Golf players all remain shut out of receiving world ranking points.

Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, has made it clear LIV Golf players who continue to hold membership are not welcome back on the circuit anytime soon.

Once the six automatic players have made the 2023 European Ryder Cup side, Donald will then select six captain's picks to round out his 12-man team to face the United States in Rome, Italy, at the end of September. 

This follows the same process as the US Ryder Cup team. 

Europe were pulverized by the United States in a record 19-9 defeat last time out at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, USA. 

Much of the US succcess that week was down to its younger generation of talent. 

Donald wants a bit of that, too. 

And now for that final dagger: 

"The US team have had a shift where they have gone with younger players with less scar tissue; guys that seem to get on very well.
"Europe is starting to go through a similar shift. A lot of the guys who have been stalwarts are coming towards the end of their careers.
"I’m not saying they don’t have opportunities to make further Ryder Cups, but it’s becoming less and less likely so we need some of these younger guys to step up and fill some of those holes."


The 2023 Hero Cup takes place in Abu Dhabi from January 13 to 15.

A total of 18 players will compete in Donald's new team event on the DP World Tour. 

Tommy Fleetwood will skipper the GB & Ireland team, while Francesco Molinari will captain the Europeans. 

2023 Hero Cup Teams

Continental Europe:

Francesco Molinari (C)
Thomas Detry
Rasmus Hojgaard
Adrian Meronk
Guido Migliozzi
Alex Noren
Victor Perez
Thomas Pieters
Sepp Straka
Player TBC

Great Britain & Ireland: 

Tommy Fleetwood (C) 
Ewen Ferguson
Tyrrell Hatton
Shane Lowry
Robert MacIntyre
Seamus Power
Callum Shinkwin
Jordan Smith
Matt Wallace
Player TBC

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