Sir Nick Faldo, a highly respected figure in the world of golf, has made it clear that he is not a fan of LIV Golf and its impact on the sport. In a recent appearance on Golf Channel’s Golf Today, Faldo took shots at European LIV golfers ahead of the 44th Ryder Cup, highlighting that they have moved on from the traditional tour and are no longer supporting it.
This year’s Ryder Cup in Rome will notably not feature stalwarts Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, and Martin Kaymer, all of whom joined LIV Golf in 2022. This decision effectively eradicated their chances of playing in the Ryder Cup again, as the DP World Tour, which manages the European team, barred LIV golfers from the competition. Among those excluded is Garcia, who holds the record for the most points won in the history of the Ryder Cup.
Despite the absence of these Ryder Cup legends, Faldo expressed his confidence in Team Europe for 2023, stating that it is one of the strongest teams they have ever had. He praised the team’s deep backbone, which includes experienced players who have been there before. Additionally, Faldo hinted at the presence of some intriguing secret rookies, namely Ludvig Åberg and Nicolai Højgaard, aged 23 and 22, respectively. Åberg recently won the Omega European Masters, while Højgaard has already secured two DP World Tour victories.
Journeyman professionals Sepp Straka and Robert MacIntyre are also among the rookies contributing to Team Europe. Straka notched a victory at the John Deere Classic, impressively shooting a final round 61 to secure his second PGA Tour win. MacIntyre, on the other hand, came close to victory at the Genesis Scottish Open but was ultimately bested by one of Rory McIlroy’s remarkable shots.
Speaking of McIlroy, he shares Faldo’s sentiment regarding LIV golfers and does not believe their absence will make a difference at the upcoming Ryder Cup. Known for his outspoken criticism of LIV Golf, McIlroy has previously stated that he would retire if the league became the only place to play professionally.
Faldo, a six-time major champion and Europe’s Ryder Cup captain in 2008, has been consistent in his criticism of LIV Golf since its inception. In June, he claimed that “nobody was really interested” in the league ahead of the British Masters. He reiterated this stance on Golf Today, emphasizing that those who play for LIV Golf are in a “different world now.”
However, the landscape of golf may soon change with the pending agreement between the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), DP World Tour, and PGA Tour. It remains to be seen if the eligibility criteria for the 2025 Ryder Cup will be amended due to this collaboration.
In any case, Faldo’s opinion on LIV Golf stands strong, and he is not alone in his belief. With the Ryder Cup approaching, it will be fascinating to see how Team Europe performs without the presence of some of its legendary players and whether the LIV Golfers will have any impact on the outcome of the tournament.