GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy – For Rory McIlroythat’s “no” abbreviation.
US Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick willing to have LIV Golfers on Europe’s team at next year’s Ryder Cup because, he said, “I just want to make sure we win.”
Captain Europe Luke Donaldmeanwhile, was topping the official tour when he said he was in a “limb” state waiting for the conflict to be decided in court.
As some of Europe’s top players prepare to compete in this week’s Italian Open at Marco Simone Stadium outside Rome, which will host next year’s Ryder Cup, pre-tournament discussion has raged about who should be. and who should not be in the 2023 team.
“I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: I don’t think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team,” McIlroy said on Wednesday of the players who took part in the breakaway series due to Saudi Arabia backing.
Lawsuits are underway on both sides of the Atlantic involving the PGA and European tours after LIV golfers were excluded from events, and the divide between players attached to the tournaments. Traditional tours and those who have joined the lucrative chain of breakaways are growing.
But Fitzpatrick, who won his first major title in June, is taking a more neutral stance.
“I just want to win the Ryder Cup. … I want the best 11 players we can get,” said the England international, who lost all three of his games as the US won a record-breaking win. Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, finally. five. “I don’t really mind where they’re coming from.”
Fitzpatrick went even further when he reached out to a LIV player at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week.
“I told him I was happy to have him on the team,” Fitzpatrick said, without naming the player.
Donald was appointed captain last month after Henrik Stenson was stripped of his title for participating in LIV.
“Nothing has really changed since I was appointed,” Donald said. “We’re still a bit of a mess. We don’t know what’s going to happen with the lawsuit so I’m trying not to really put too much effort into it. Once we have a clearer picture, I’m going to try and get it right. can give you better answers.”
“I was committed to playing in this event before Luke was captain and that was someone else,” McIlroy said, declining to mention Stenson by name again.
“I’ve had discussions with Luke, and actually a few of us are meeting for dinner tonight to bond a little bit but also to talk about the course and how we think it should be set up. set up to support the European team.”
Located about a half-hour drive from Rome, the stadium, owned and operated by fashion designer Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna, features mountainous terrain, creating a stadium-like setting suitable for the Ryder Cup.
“You have two controllable par-4s [Nos. 11 and 16]you’ve got a couple of holes with the water and you have that great closing that can be really fun,” McIlroy said of the nine in the back.
The only time McIlroy competed in Italy before was when he won the 2006 European Amateur Championship in the northern town of Biella.
“So I’ve got 100 per cent of the record in this country, and I want to keep that up,” he said.
McIlroy has enjoyed walking around Rome with his family, especially since his wife used to study in the city for seven months “and she knows her way.”
However, McIlroy and his teammates are strategizing how to close the gap from America’s September 19 whip in Wisconsin.
“The European team has a core of six or seven guys that I think we all know they’re going to be pretty much on that team, and then some younger guys can step up,” McIlroy said. “. “I think we need to rebuild anyway. We’ve done well with the same people for a very long time, but everything will come to an end at some point. I think Whistling Straits is a way. good delineation.”
Donald said: “I am very excited to watch their games. “I’ll be keeping an eye on some interesting, younger talent to try to form this team.”
Then there are Francesco Molinari, the hero of the 2018 European victory, who is looking to return to the team after an absence in 2021 due to back problems. He finished in the top 10 at Wentworth.
“Having an Italian on the team would be huge,” McIlroy said.
Molinari said issues with LIV will be resolved between September 29 and October 1. An event next year.
Molinari said: “The Ryder Cup is such a big, important and wonderful event that I don’t think it will be harmed at all. “Even if the situation isn’t resolved, I think during that week everyone’s attention will be on the Ryder Cup.”