Ryder Cup back on for Poulter, Westwood, Garcia, Stenson (but in 2025)

DP World Tour boss Keith Pelley admits all is not yet lost for Ryder Cup stalwarts. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 6 Jun 2023
DPWT boss: Ryder Cup back on table for Westwood, Garcia, Poulter, Stenson

DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley admits Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson could still play their way back into European Ryder Cup contention in 2025 should they decide to "request reinstatement" following today's shock LIV Golf news. 

Pelley was speaking to Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir at Wentworth's DP World Tour HQ just hours after news emerged the former European Tour circuit and the PGA Tour had decided to merge with the Saudi-bankrolled LIV Golf League

Weir confirmed following his chat with Pelley there is no chance the Ryder Cup stalwarts in question will be able to compete (or have any involvement) in the 2023 Ryder Cup match in Rome, Italy, this September.

This is because they were not DP World Tour members as of May 2023, which was reportedly the cut-off point for eligibility. 

But that is as things stand. Given today's news, things could change further so we'll have to wait and see.

As far as Weir sees it, Westwood, Garcia, Poulter and Stenson "could" have some involvement in the 2025 Ryder Cup match. 

Related: Disgusted PGA Tour pro hits out over LIV merger - "They told us nothing"

Weir began speaking to Pelley about how the merger with LIV Golf came to light. 

Pelley remained tight-lipped but expressed excitement at the future: 

"It's fair to say the details of how it all came about is private but the bottom line is all three parties have an appetite to work closely together and I think it's an unbelievable story for... I know our staff are really excited, it's great for the DP World Tour members and that's the most important thing."

Weir then told Pelley following plenty of "mud-slinging" the past 12 months whether it was possible for everyone to kiss and make up now? 

But Pelley was having none of that. 

"I don't think we've done a lot of mud-slinging, I think we were pretty consistent with our approach that we brought Golf Saudi into the game in 2019 and we appreciated what they did for us at that particular time, and what we wanted them to do is be part of the ecosystem and the global golf infrastructure. That's what has happened now is the three of us have come together, so there certainly hasn't been any mud-slinging on our side. I am still energised and excited about that phrase of growing the game, I think we really have any opportunity to do so now."

Weir then wanted to get Pelley's thoughts on how the subject of sportswashing could intensify following the merger with LIV Golf?

But again, Pelley disagreed. 

"They [sportswashing] were never involved in any of our conversations. We first started talking to Golf Saudi in 2018, we had a terrific event there in 2019, and that's never been a conversation at our Tour." 

Before letting Pelley go, Weir quizzed him on whether the door would be left open for European Ryder Cup stalwarts Poulter, Westwood, Garcia and Stenson to return to the fray following their recent resignations of the DP World Tour? 

Pelley admits all is not yet lost. 

"Well there is only two criteria to be a Ryder Cup player. You have to be European and you have to be a DP World Tour member. Those are the criteria, if you're not a DP World Tour member then you cannot play in the Ryder Cup. They [Poulter, Westwood, Garcia, Stenson] are non-members. They would have to be re-instated, maybe they will request re-instatement but we'll have to see."

Garcia recently revealed how European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald told him he "pretty much had no chance" of making the team, which is the main reason why he decided to tear up his DP World Tour card. 

Will Westwood, Poulter, Garcia and Stenson all return to the Ryder Cup fold? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.