Ryder Cup director Luke Donald on LIV Golf registration: “I don’t think anyone is judging the decision of Tyrrell Hatton or Jon Rahm. Sometimes there are consequences of those decisions. I have a long way until the qualification starts, seven months or more. More. can be done with the game”
0:18, UK, Wednesday 07 February 2024
Luke Donald says none of Europe’s Ryder Cup champions are judging Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton by joining LIV Golf – risking future participation in the event.
Last week, it was announced that England’s Hatton will join Rahm’s Ryder Cup team in the LIV Golf League after becoming the latest name to join the Saudi-backed division.
Speaking at the WM Phoenix Open on Tuesday, Donald said: “I haven’t seen a lot of guys. We still have a WhatsApp chat group, and we’re all doing the chats we did in Rome.
“There’s nothing negative or anything in the conversation. Everyone knows that everyone wants to do the best for themselves, and I don’t think anyone is judging Tyrrell’s or Jon’s decision.
“I see them [on the team]? It is very difficult for me to answer that question now.
“What I did well in my captaincy last year was to focus on what I could. We have seven months left until the qualifiers start.
“We have all the negotiations with the PGA TOUR, with the DP World Tour, with the PIF. I don’t know what will happen, and for the next seven months, I don’t need to know what is happening. It will happen because the qualifications for the Ryder Cup will not start until then.”
Rory McIlroy, previously one of the main opponents of the new circuit, indicated after Rahm’s decision that the rules should be changed to allow the Spaniard to compete against the USA in Bethpage in 2025.
Donald said that neither Rahm nor Hatton would currently be eligible for the nomination under the rules, but admitted that he did not know if they would be able to defend the race.
“Well, again, Rory’s comment, he was a little bit wrong about changing the rules for Jon to be there because right now you have to be in Europe and be a member of the DP World Tour,” Donald said.
“Jon, Tyrrell, as far as I know are still members of the European Tour and would be eligible. Nothing has changed there. Even back last year, there were several guys who played at LIV who still kept their membership, and I continued. I kept an eye on everyone who was eligible so that I could choice.
“The guys who decided to leave their membership, yes, at the time I couldn’t choose them, but at the moment these are the rules, and so far I’m sure Jon, I’m sure Tyrrell, they want to be part of it, and they will follow whatever rules allow them to play in the Ryder Cup.”
Asked how he felt about European players leaving LIV, Donald admitted there could be consequences.
“Yeah, Jon is a guy who decided it was the best decision for him. A lot of guys have decided that going to LIV was the decision they were comfortable with, and they thought it was the right decision for them. I’m not here to judge that.
“Sometimes there are consequences to those decisions. There’s been a lot of discussion about the ranking of the world and the LIV guys have to get it. Again, I think sometimes there are consequences to other decisions, and I think a lot of these guys know they’re going into that.
“Also, I have a long time before qualifying, seven months or so. A lot can happen with the game. It’s still changing. It’s still changing. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few months. Until I know, I won’t make any decisions.”
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