Rory McIlroy believes "it's a shame" Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia will never get to captain the European Ryder Cup team in the future as a result of them all resigning from the DP World Tour this week.
All four players were sanctioned for serious breaches of the DP World Tour's 'conflicting tournament regulations' committed last June when they competed in the very first LIV Golf tournament at Centurion Club in England.
All LIV Golf players holding DP World Tour membership were forced to pay £100k fines, but according to the DP World Tour Garcia is the only player who has failed to pay his fine.
The DP World Tour issued a statement earlier in the week that made it clear "their resignations are a consequence of their own choices."
Poulter, Westwood and Garcia have played in 28 Ryder Cup matches between them, with all three of them proving huge successes in the side down the years.
Garcia remains the all-time top European points scorer with 28.5 pts.
But as a result of no longer being members of the former European Tour circuit, they relinquish any opportunity of ever becoming a captain of the European Tour Ryder Cup team.
After opening with a round of 68 at the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy told reporters:
McIlroy's comments echo those of 2023 European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald, who admitted "it's sad that we've got to this point".
Donald did explain, however, that their decisions to tear up their DP World Tour membership gives him greater "clarity" over his European Ryder Cup team to face the United States in Rome later this season.