Poulter: “I think my commitment to the Ryder Cup precedes me. I don’t think that should ever be questioned. I’ve always wanted to play the Ryder Cup and I’ve played with as much passion as any anyone else I’ve ever seen play a Ryder Cup.”
Last update: 26/10/22 18:00
Ian Poulter has hit out at Rory McIlroy describing his Ryder Cup teammates joining LIV Golf as a ‘betrayal’ and insists he still wants to represent Team Europe in the future.
LIV Golf members are still able to participate in the DP World Tour and earn Ryder Cup qualifying points, although it is unclear if they will be allowed to participate in the Marco Simone GC next September.
McIlroy said in an interview with the Guardian that he felt “betrayal” by his Ryder Cup teammates joining the Saudi-backed circuit and questioned their commitment to Team Europe, while Poulter remains adamant that her love for the biennial competition remains as strong as ever.
Ryder Cup captains Luke Donald and Zach Johnson avoided talking about LIV Golf earlier this month, due to a current lack of clarity regarding Ryder Cup qualification.
“A betrayal? We can still qualify for the team as far as I know,” Poulter said ahead of LIV Golf’s season-ending tag team championship. “Unless we were told we couldn’t qualify, I’m always ready to play as much as possible and try to be part of this team.
“My commitment to the Ryder Cup, I think, precedes me. I don’t think that should ever be questioned. I’ve always wanted to play the Ryder Cup and I’ve played with as much passion as anyone. who else I’ve ever seen play a Ryder Cup.
“I don’t know where that comment really came from, to be honest.”
Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood said earlier this summer they were still unsure of their Ryder Cup player status
Five members of the European squad beaten by a record margin at Whistling Straits last September have already joined LIV Golf, including Poulter, record points scorer Sergio Garcia and Ryder Cup stalwart Lee Westwood.
Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger also made the switch, along with former Ryder Cup winners Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer, while Henrik Stenson was stripped as European team captain for the 2023 contest after having joined the tour as a breakaway.
Scottie Scheffler said in September there was more talent on the PGA Tour than on the LIV Golf Tour
Mickelson Praises McIlroy, Tones Down LIV Golf Claims
McIlroy has regularly spoken out in favor of golf’s traditional tours and ahead of his CJ Cup title defense he dismissed claims by six-time Major champion Phil Mickelson, who had previously suggested LIV Golf was on the rise as the PGA Tour was down.
“First of all, what a great win he had last week,” Mickelson said of McIlroy on Wednesday. “He played some good golf. I think it was an impressive win.
Rory McIlroy hit back at Phil Mickelson’s claim that LIV Golf is up and the PGA Tour is down
“Maybe I shouldn’t have said some stuff [about the PGA Tour] like that, I don’t know. But if I just look at LIV Golf and where we are today, where we were six, seven months ago and the people who say it’s dead in the water.
“We’ve moved past that, and here we are today – a force in the game that isn’t going away, that has players of this caliber moving professional golf around the world and the level of excitement in the countries of the world to have some of the best golfers come to their country and compete.
Jon Rahm dismissed Phil Mickelson’s claim that the PGA Tour is on a ‘downtrend’ and said animosity between players wouldn’t work in a Ryder Cup team after Sergio Garcia said that he would prefer not to participate if it negatively affected his teammates.
“It’s quite remarkable how far LIV Golf has come in the last six or seven months. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that.”
Smith will face Mickelson in the Tag Team Championship
The draw was conducted for the LIV Golf Team Championship on Wednesday, with the captains of teams ranked fifth through eighth in the season standings to choose their opponents for Friday’s first round.
Mickelson, a six-time major winner, will face defending Open champion Cameron Smith in one of the singles matches of the day, which will also pit Chile’s top pro Joaquin Niemann against the former world No. Martin Kaymer.
Phil Mickelson says he believes he is on the ‘winning side’ of the current rift within the sport, having chosen to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series
Poulter – captain this week for Majesticks GC instead of Lee Westwood – will face Iron Heads GC captain Kevin Na with four-time major winner Brooks Koepka against Niblicks GC’s Harold Varner III.
Two singles matches and one foursome match will take place in each match on Friday, with all 32 players competing simultaneously and each match winner receiving a point. The first team to get two points will advance to Saturday’s semi-finals.
Smash GC vs Niblicks GC
- Foursomes: Jason Kokrak & Chase Koepka vs. Turk Pettit & Hudson Swafford
- Singles: Brooks Koepka vs. Harold Varner III
- Singles: Peter Uihlein vs. James Piot
Majesticks GC vs. Iron Heads GC
- Foursomes: Sam Horsfield and Henrik Stenson vs. Sadom Kaewkanjana and Phachara Khongwatmai
- Singles: Ian Poulter vs. Kevin Na
- Singles: Lee Westwood vs. Sihwan Kim
Couple GC vs. Cleeks GC
- Foursomes: Adrian Otaegui and Scott Vincent against Graeme McDowell and Richard Bland
- Singles: Joaquin Niemann vs. Martin Kaymer
- Singles: Jediah Morgan vs. Laurie Canter
HY Flyers GC vs. Punch GC
- Foursomes: Bernd Wiesberger and Cameron Tringale vs. Matt Jones and Wade Ormsby
- Singles: Phil Mickelson vs. Cameron Smith
- Singles: Matt Wolff vs. Marc Leishman
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