LIV Golf Invitational Series: Rory McIlroy hopes Lee Westwood and rebels will still be allowed to compete in the Ryder Cup

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.

By Cark Markham
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 1:15 pm

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.

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Lee Westwood during the Pro-Am at the Centurion Club, Hertfordshire ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Steven Paston/PA Wire.

“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.”