Rory McIlroy has admitted that relationships with some of his Ryder Cup teammates are strained and significantly damaged because they have defected to the LIV Golf Series.
Five members of the European Ryder Cup team have joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series alongside Henrik Stenson who was previously removed from team captaincy.
Players who have to join the LIV Series and are in the field for the PGA Championships are Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, and Bernd Wiesberger.
When asked about his relationship with Westwood, Poulter, and Garcia, McIlroy said:
“I wouldn’t say I’ve got much of a relationship with them at the minute.
“They are here. They are playing the golf tournament. My opinion is they shouldn’t be here, but again that’s just my opinion.
“But if you’re just talking about Ryder Cup, that’s not the future of the Ryder Cup team. They’ve played in probably a combined 25, 30 Ryder Cups, whatever it is.
“The Hojgaards (Rasmus and Nicolai), Bobby Mac (Robert MacIntyre), whoever else is coming up, they are the future of the Ryder Cup team. That’s what we should be thinking about and talking about.”
McIlroy has always been an open critic of the LIV Golf Series and the players who have defected.
Its incredibly divisive and does it bring more eyeballs onto golf? Probably, because people are interested in the soap opera of it all, but that’s not golf,” he said of the series.
“The most interesting thing about LIV is the rumors and who is going and who is not going. It’s not the golf right now. It might be at some stage, but right now it’s the rumor mill that’s fueling it.
“So when you come back here and you play DP World Tour or PGA Tour, you’re watching the golf and you’re watching who is going to win tournaments and have context and mean something. That’s why I’m speaking up.”
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