LIV’s Graeme McDowell still wants Europe to regain Ryder Cup

by Joanne Miller

Title: LIV Golf Participants Cheered on by Former Fellow Ryder Cup Teammates

Publication Date: Sep 25, 2023

Word Count: 4 Minute Read

As the 2023 Ryder Cup gets underway at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy, several European golfers who recently joined LIV Golf, a rival league, will be watching from the sidelines as fans. Among them are Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, and Graeme McDowell, who have been denied the opportunity to represent Team Europe this year.

Despite their exclusion, Graeme McDowell, who has been an integral part of previous Ryder Cup teams, expressed his unwavering support for his countryman, Rory McIlroy, and the European team. McDowell shared that he plans to set his alarm for just past midnight at his home in Florida to cheer them on. In an interview with Golf Digest, McDowell spoke fondly about his experiences in the Ryder Cup, acknowledging that while he feels a tinge of bitterness for not being a part of the event this year, he cherishes the memories and bonds formed through the tournament.

Of the LIV Golf participants, Sergio Garcia has managed to secure a position in the Team Europe roster this year, according to McDowell. However, McDowell himself has struggled to achieve top-tier finishes in recent tournaments, acknowledging that the challenging schedule and lackluster performances of himself, Lee Westwood, and Ian Poulter didn’t bolster their chances of being selected. McDowell further admitted that even if the circumstances were different, it’s unlikely any of them would have been chosen for the coveted twelve spots. Nonetheless, he expressed his desire to have contributed as a vice-captain to assist Luke Donald.

Garcia, in contrast, actively sought a way to secure a position on the team, engaging in talks with the DP World Tour to explore potential options. On the other hand, Poulter expressed his dissatisfaction with the Ryder Cup situation, while Stenson, a member of three winning Ryder Cup teams, revealed his hopes for a middle ground where LIV Golf participants could rejoin the European team, citing that Team USA welcomed Brooks Koepka despite his involvement with LIV Golf.

Stenson emphasized the need for respect towards the team and the Ryder Cup itself, suggesting that discussions should be held at an appropriate time and place. Meanwhile, McDowell remains supportive of Team Europe, acknowledging that he understands the reasons behind his omission and assuring there is no bitterness on his end. He conveyed his genuine desire to be present in Rome and even exchanged texts with European vice-captain Edoardo Molinari, expressing his heartfelt wishes.

While McDowell would relish the chance to once again represent Team Europe on the golf course, for now, he will content himself with being an avid fan, eagerly watching every shot during the Ryder Cup.

In conclusion, the exclusion of several European golfers due to their involvement with LIV Golf has sparked disappointment, as they will not be able to participate in the 2023 Ryder Cup. However, their former Ryder Cup teammates, including Graeme McDowell, continue to support them and the European team wholeheartedly, emphasizing the importance of the tournament and the camaraderie it fosters. As the matchups unfold in Italy, golf enthusiasts eagerly await riveting performances and the triumph of teamwork that characterizes this prestigious event.

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