European golf legend agrees with Rory McIlroy LIV claim

European Ryder Cup legend Bernard Gallacher, 75, has called for the LIV Golf players not to be frozen out of the biennial competition.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Bernard Gallacher has called for Ryder Cup Europe not to freeze out LIV Golf players from the biennial competition. 

Speaking to bunkered, the 75-year-old echoed the sentiments expressed by Rory McIlroy last December. 

McIlroy stated the rules needed to be changed so that Jon Rahm could represent the blue and gold next September in New York. 

The Northern Irishman was speaking in the immediate aftermath of Rahm's decision to join the breakaway tour for north of $500m. 

Rahm was integral to Europe's success in Italy last September but he has no plans to resign his DP World Tour membership. 

And nor does his LIV teammate Tyrrell Hatton, who also joined the Saudi-backed tour in February in a last-minute deal. 


It's important to point out that the rules do not need to be changed for Hatton and Rahm to make it to Bethpage Black. 

But they are currently being fined for competing in LIV events and are likely to need captain's picks to be involved again. 

There is also the possibility more European players could join the breakaway in the coming months, causing a headache at Wentworth HQ.

A number of high-profile players' contracts with LIV are due to expire and a recruitment drive is expected.

There are already whispers that Viktor Hovland could be the next superstar to join LIV.

Hovland has consistently distanced himself from a switch, but Rahm did the same in the months leading up to his move. 

Gallacher told bunkered: "You’ve got to put your strongest team out there

"The main question last time was Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood but they were in their late forties. 

"It’s not like Jon Rahm who’s 29 and is a US Open and Masters champion. 

"Rory said he wouldn’t want to face the Americans without Jon Rahm and that says it all.

“Tyrrell Hatton is a major winner ready to happen. Take Scottie Scheffler out of it, he’s as good as the players around. 

"I’ve always felt he’s a guy who could win a major so you take him as well."

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm

He added: “You can’t not play the strongest team. The Ryder Cup would be very diminished without Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, for sure.”

Luke Donald oversaw Europe's five-point victory at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club seven months ago. 

After mulling the decision over, he decided to take assume the role of captain once again.

He has already retained Edoardo Molinari and Thomas Bjorn to his vice captaincy team. 

Team USA have not named Zach Johnson's successor but it's looking increasingly likely Donald will face Tiger Woods

Woods dropped a hint before finishing dead last at the 2024 Masters he was due to have talks with the PGA of America about the role. 

Should Woods, 48, reject the captaincy then it is widely-assumed either Stewart Cink or Fred Couples will take charge.

Gallacher said there need to be a 'paradigm shift in thinking' if the likes of Ian Poulter or Lee Westwood are to skipper Europe in the future.

“I think Lee Westwood would have made a great captain,” Gallacher said. 

"Ian Poulter would have certainly made an inspirational captain and it would be a shame to see the guy who has won the most points ever [Garcia] have a go down the line.

“But as that stands, it’s not going to happen and there’s going to have to be a paradigm shift in thinking.”

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