Rory McIlroy on European Ryder Cup team: "I think we were in need of a rebuild"

Rory McIlroy gives his verdict as speculation mounts that LIV Golf players will be out of Ryder Cup reckoning.

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 15 Sep 2022
Rory McIlroy on European Ryder Cup team: "I think we were in need of a rebuild"

Rory McIlroy believes the European Ryder Cup team was "in need of a rebuild anyway" whether or not LIV Golf players are allowed to compete in the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone in Italy. 

McIlroy, speaking to the media from the Ryder Cup venue during this week's Italian Open, gave this thoughts about how Luke Donald's European side could shape up in 12 months time. 

The Northern Irishman believes LIV Golf players should have nothing to do with the Ryder Cup.

England's Matt Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, completely disagrees with that assumption. 

Donald has decided to opt for six captain's picks after "in-depth analysis", and they will join six automatic qualifiers (three leading players on the European Points List and three leading players on the World Points List). 

More: Six picks in the Ryder Cup team "a bad sign" for the LIV Golf rebels

McIlroy considers those six automatic players are already banked in the team, and in light of LIV Golf players such as Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter potentially missing out on the Ryder Cup, he is calling on the rookies out there to step up and be counted.

"Yeah, I would say we have got a core of -- I think the European Team has a sore of six or seven guys that I think we all know are pretty much going to be on that team, and then it's up to some of the younger guys to maybe step up," said McIlroy. 

"For example, Francesco had a top 10 last week at Wentworth and seems to be coming into form, and I think having an Italian on the team would be huge.

More: Rory McIlroy sounds off on LIV Golf again - "I just can't help myself"

"So you know, you've got your core there with experience in The Ryder Cup and played in a few, so I think, yeah, you're looking for some of these younger guys over the next 12 months to step up and put their hand up for a possible pick.

"The criteria this year is a little different. There's going to be six picks. So whoever is in form at that time but also has shown that they have played consistently well over this period.

"But I think we were in need of a rebuild, anyway. It was sort of -- we did well with the same guys for a very long time but again as I just said, everything comes to an end at some point. I think Whistling Straits is a good sort of demarcation, I guess.

"That's all behind us. We have got a core group of guys but let's build on that again, and instead of filling those three or four spots with older veterans, let's blood some rookies and let's get them in and build towards the future. I think that's important."

The United States defeated Europe by a record-breaking scoreline of 19-9 last time out at Whistling Straits in 2021. 

The 2023 Ryder Cup will take place at Marco Simone in Rome, Italy, from September 29 to October 1. 

Next Page: LIV Golf's Greg Norman has "no interest" in sitting down with the PGA Tour