Lee Westwood thinks LIV Golf players shouldn’t be ‘threatened’ by Ryder Cup ban

Lee Westwood says his ability to qualify for the Ryder Cup should not be compromised by his participation in the LIV Golf Invitational.

Westwood is one of many big names to sign up for the controversial new Tour, funded by a Saudi state accused of human rights abuses.

So far, the DP Tour has not threatened its members with losing their Ryder Cup eligibility, although this is an option being considered.

Westwood, however, doesn’t think there should be any chance of that happening.

“Why should he be threatened?” Westwood, co-holder of the European record for appearances, said at a press conference.

“I’ve been playing Ryder Cup golf since 1997 and the criteria was to be a member of the European Tour (now the DP World Tour).

“I’ve been a member of the PGA Tour and still played four events on the European Tour, and why would the European Tour change its rules so drastically because another Tour doesn’t like it or doesn’t like it? feel financially threatened?

“As long as you meet the criteria to be a member of the European Tour, you should always have the option of trying to qualify for the Ryder Cup team.”

Westwood’s Ryder Cup teammate Sergio Garcia, the competition’s all-time leading scorer, had a more pragmatic view.

When asked if he thought there was a risk in his decision to sign up, he replied: “Yeah, I guess there was. You never knew how everyone was doing. to act.

“Obviously you were hoping it wouldn’t change. We still hope it won’t affect him.

“Hopefully I still have the opportunity, like they (his other hopefuls) too, I’m sure, to be part of a few other Ryder Cup teams, but that won’t be up to us now. We’ll just keep crossing paths. fingers.”

The DP World Tour chose not to follow the lead of the PGA Tour, which outright banned all of their events to LIV golfers, but Westwood has always opposed any sanction he received.

“I am personally disappointed with the approach of the European Tour,” he added.

“I have been a member of the European Tour for 29 years and for some of those years I was also a member of the PGA Tour and as long as I played my four events the European Tour had no problem with me. play anywhere else and now it seems to be a problem.

“As far as fines and penalties go, I’m disappointed.”

READ MORE: Three players added for second LIV Golf event, including amateur world No. 2

Michael C. Ford