LIV Golf's Graeme McDowell "disappointed" if he never becomes Ryder Cup captain

LIV Golf League player Graeme McDowell says he would be disappointed if he was never given the opportunity to captain a Ryder Cup side.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 9 Feb 2023
LIV Golf's Graeme McDowell "disappointed" if he never becomes Ryder Cup captain

Graeme McDowell says he'd feel "disappointed" if he were never to captain a Ryder Cup side but admits he would be "very understanding" if he were never to take the reigns after joining the LIV Golf League

McDowell has a decorated history in the event. He's played in four European teams, scored nine points from 15 matches and even sank the winning putt at Celtic Manor 13 years ago that reduced Hunter Mahan to a tearful wreck alongside Phil Mickelson.

The Northern Irishman is now 43 years old and you could argue that his productive years are well behind him. 

And with the 2027 Ryder Cup being hosted at Adare Manor in County Limerick, you'd think G-Mac would've been a hot favourite to take charge. 

McDowell told GolfByTourMiss before the International Series Oman at Al Mouj Golf:

"Every European born player that aspires to be a Ryder Cup player, turns into a Ryder Cup player and has represented Europe in a Ryder Cup will tell you it is one of more memorable experiences in their life.
"It was one of the factors I considered heavy in making the decision to join LIV that I was walking away from one the chance to be a Ryder Cup vice-captain or captain.
"And yes, if I am never a part of that ecosystem I would be very disappointed but I will also be very accepting of it, as I have accepted it." 

"Sergio Garcia is doing what he has always done..."

The much-anticipated DP World Tour v LIV Golf hearing began in London on 6 February. 

Sergio Garcia was originally an appellant in the case fighting his ban and suspension that was "stayed" after he teed it up in LIV's inaugural event last June at Centurion. 

Now Garcia has dropped out, along with Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel. 

We won't know the result of that hearing for a few weeks. 

McDowell said that Garcia and others such as Lee Westwood are entitled to play the minimum number of DP World Tour events and chase "financial opportunities" elsewhere. 

He explained: 

"Is it right or wrong how it has transpired as we could debate that all night but then if this DP World Tour arbitration hearing goes in favour of the direction for the LIV players then it must open the door for guys like Sergio Garcia.
"Sergio Garcia is the DP World Tour and to take that opportunity away from him seems wrong.
"Sergio Garcia is doing what he's done all through his career and that is play his minimum commitment on the DP World Tour and go off, as he's entitled, to go off to other tours in the world where it is more financially lucrative.
"So, this LIV opportunity fits that definition correctly and all Sergio Garcia wants to do, and I am picking him out along with Lee Westwood, as they are the two most decorated players in the past decades we are talking about.
"All these guys are asking for is to continue in being able to operate as they have always operated throughout their career which is to support Europe when they can and be able to go chase financial opportunities around the world.
"So, if this arbitration hearing goes in favour of LIV what does that mean? Does it mean Sergio Garcia can be eligible to go qualify for a Ryder Cup pick or can a guy like Ian Poulter get back into the vice-captaincy or potentially play?"

"It may take six years"

McDowell reckons that LIV Golf has been "cast out of the golf world" and left to "plunder on and row their own boat" but eventually things will settle down. 

Related: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV Golf

He added: 

"Hopefully, at some point down the line this will all come back together again.  It may take six months.  It may take six years.  I am hoping that is going to be something shorter.
"I feel LIV because they've been cast out in the world of golf that they have to plunder on and row their own boat because LIV has so much to offer, and they have such a great team of players and such a compelling product.
"A product that I feel has a lot of differentiation to it that can be really beneficial to the fans and the world of golf in general."

What about his own golf?

"My main goal is that I just want golf to succeed.  I want golf to do the talking and for this to be less about attacking people personally.  It should not be personal but guys are taking it personal.
"I understand why guys get heated about it because they are passionate about what they do, and whatever side of the fence they are on.
"Eventually, the fences and this will all work as a unit but I would not know what that will look like."

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