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  • Alistair Tait

Where’s The Ryder Cup Logic Rory?

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

I’m confused.

Not because Rory McIlroy said he was done talking about LIV Golf to focus on his own game, only to opine on LIV the first time it has been brought up since his PGA Championship appearance.

It's the Northern Irishman’s Ryder Cup logic that baffles me.

So Rory thinks LIV player Brooks Koepka should play in the Ryder Cup, but no way those LIV golfers who could represent Europe should appear in the match.


Here’s Rory’s take from this week’s Memorial Tournament on PGA champion Koepka:

"I certainly think Brooks deserves to be on the United States team. I think with how he's played, I mean, he's second in the US standings (and) only played two counting events."
"I don't know if there's anyone else on the LIV roster that would make the team on merit and how they're playing. But Brooks is definitely a guy that I think deserves to be on the US team.

All good so far. I’m with him on Koepka being allowed to play in the Ryder Cup. Bet many potential United States team members, and American golf fans, are too.

Now for the double standard:

"I have different feelings about the European team and the other side and sort of how that has all transpired and, yes, I don't think any of those guys should be a part of the European team."

Let me repeat: What?

Maybe I’m naïve, but I’d have thought with Rory being so vehemently against the LIV Tour he’d be calling for a ban on any LIV player appearing in Samuel Ryder’s legacy to golf.

Of course, Koepka can play because although he’s been booted off the PGA Tour, he’s still a member of the PGA of America. Those European Tour players – Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and others – who been made to feel so unwelcome at European Tour Headquarters are ineligible for the match because they are no longer members of the tour.

(By the way, you may have noticed a photo of Rory from two years ago when he stood arm in arm at Whistling Straits with three of those so-called rebels wearing silly headgear. So much for Ryder Cup team rooms creating enduring friendships, huh?)

Here's a question for Rory. What if one of those LIV Players who can point to a European birthplace does a Koepka and has good finishes in the last two majors of the year? What if, say, Sergio Garcia finishes second in the U.S. Open and then goes on to win the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool?

Wouldn’t he deserve to be on the European Team on merit? Or am I missing something?

Jon Rahm certainly thinks so:

"It's a little sad to me that politics have gotten in the way of such a beautiful event," Rahm said.
"It's the best Europeans against the best Americans, period. And whatever is going on, who is playing LIV and who is not playing LIV, to me shouldn't matter.”

Sound wisdom. To his credit, world number one Scottie Scheffler feels the same way.

Rahm is also on record as saying he’d love to partner Garcia in this Ryder Cup, as he did at Whistling Straits two years ago. (Lest we forget, they won all three matches as a pairing.) Fellow teammate Matt Fitzpatrick has also called for LIV players to be included in the European team.

Perhaps Rahm can have a wee word with Rory and ask him to explain the double standards by which the Northern Irishman is viewing qualification for the biennial match. Maybe then he can explain Rory’s logic to the rest of us.

Because I’m baffled.

#JustSaying: “Boys, we will always have Paris.” Thomas Bjorn

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