When Rory McIlroy meets some of his former Ryder Cup teammates at Wentworth this week, don’t expect them to spend much time recounting their memories.
The leading names of the European team Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are among the LIV Golf players taking part in the BMW PGA Championship this week. series.
During an unforgettable Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits for Europe last year, one of the most memorable moments was when McIlroy burst into tears saying how much he loved his teammates. On Wednesday, Garcia only sighed when asked how what seemed like a very close connection with Westwood and Poulter might be able to survive the LIV fallout.
“I have no idea,” McIlroy said. I can’t say I have a great relationship with them right now. …However, I didn’t do anything different. They are the ones who made this decision. So I can sit here and hold my head high and say I didn’t do anything different. »
Shane Lowry also said there could be some awkward encounters with players he’s “good friends” with this week.
“Obviously I haven’t seen them for a long time. Lowry said I don’t hang out with them anymore. I probably won’t go to dinner because we haven’t seen each other. But yes, there are some guys I’ve shaken hands with and some guys I haven’t shaken hands with.”
As such, the rift between LIV-created players shows no signs of healing at Wentworth, where Billy Horschel and Jon Rahm targeted the LIV troop on Tuesday.
While LIV golfers who are members of the European Tour are allowed to play at Wentworth, their penalties for playing the breakout series opening event are on appeal. Ryder Cup statuses are also on appeal.
US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick said he was “tired of talking” about the whole situation, but acknowledged that current tensions could make it difficult to get LIV players into next year’s Ryder Cup squad.
Next year’s European Ryder Cup team was influenced by LIV Golf, with Henrik Stenson being captained for joining the breakaway series. At the end of McIlroy’s press conference, when his name appeared as the only person to win both the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup and the European Tour’s Dubai Race – a feat the Irish du Nord golfer was trying to match – McIlroy simply joked: Who? “
McIlroy had said before the event this week that it would be “hard to play” with LIV golfers, but said he has yet to see most of them at Wentworth.
“My opinion is that they shouldn’t be here, but again, that’s just my opinion,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy, Fitzpatrick and Horschel are playing in the same group on Thursday, so at least they won’t have to share the course with LIV players until the weekend.
Asked if it would give him extra motivation to play an actor who joined the Saudi-backed drama in Sunday’s final couple, McIlroy couldn’t resist another taunt.
“They’ll be pretty tired on Sunday,” he said. It will be the fourth day. »