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Lee Westwood Scoffs At Idea LIV Golf Could Affect Ryder Cup Chances

Lee Westwood Scoffs At Idea LIV Golf Could Affect Ryder Cup Chances
By PJ Browne Updated

Lee Westwood does not believe playing in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series should affect his chances of playing for Europe in the Ryder Cup.

This week, Westwood - who has played in 11 Ryder Cups - takes part in the second LIV Golf event, which takes place in Oregon.

The next Ryder Cup is being at the Marco Simone Golf Club near Rome in September 2023. It is currently unclear if those who play in the LIV series will be eligible for the competition. US Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson hinted this week that the American defectors will not fit the criteria for selection.

"I mean, why should it be threatened?" said Westwood.

"I've been playing Ryder Cup golf since 1997, and the criteria has been to be a member of the European Tour. Now, the criteria for being a member of the European Tour is to play four events. Why should they change that now?

"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 their rules so dramatically because another tour doesn't like it or feels financially threatened? There's just a bit too much protection going on for my liking and not enough transparency.

"I think as long as you fulfil the criteria to be a European Tour member, then you should still have the opportunity to try and qualify for the Ryder Cup team."

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24 September 2021; Lee Westwood of Team Europe walks off the sixth green during his Friday morning foursomes match with Matt Fitzpatrick against Brooks Kopek and Daniel Berger of Team USA at the Ryder Cup 2021 Matches at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, USA. Photo by Tom Russo/Sportsfile

Sergio Garcia, another who has moved to the LIV Golf series, also hopes to be allowed play in the Ryder Cup.

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"Obviously you were hoping that it wouldn't change. We still hope that it won't affect it," said Garcia.

"I think at the end of the day, like I said, I did this for several reasons. I did it because I think this is the future of golf, because I think that this is a great opportunity, not only to do what I love, which is playing golf, but at the same time be able to spend more time with my family and watch them grow.

"I have a four-year-old and a two-year-old so it's nice to watch them grow as much as possible. I've been doing this for 24 years, so travelling a lot and stuff, and make a great living out of it.

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"I hope that I still have the possibility, as I'm sure they do, too, to be a part of a few more Ryder Cup teams, but that's not going to depend on us now. We'll just keep our fingers crossed."

See Also: LIV Golf Defectors Koepka And DeChambeau Respond To McIlroy Callout

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