Will Rahm and Hatton be on Ryder Cup team? Donald: "it's hard to answer that..."

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald gives his latest verdict after seeing Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton head to LIV Golf.

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 7 Feb 2024
Will Rahm and Hatton be on Ryder Cup team? Donald: "it's hard to answer that..."

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald has given his thoughts on the future of his team in light of his star players Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton moving to the LIV Golf League this season. 

Donald was pressed for comment about what conversations have been had in the Ryder Cup group chat since teammates Rahm and Hatton left for LIV, and whether he still sees them as a part of his 2025 European Ryder Cup team at Bethpage Black. 

The Englishman, who has been handed the reigns once more following an impressive debut captaincy where Team Europe ran out five-point victors in Rome last year, addressed the media ahead of this week's WM Phoenix Open at famed TPC Scottsdale.

Donald began by talking about the European Ryder Cup WhatsApp group chat and how nobody has passed judgement about the decisions of Rahm and Hatton to join the LIV Golf League in 2024. 

Donald said: 

"I haven't seen too many of the guys. We still have a group WhatsApp chat, and we're all participating in that chat that we created for Rome. There's nothing adverse or anything within that chat. Everyone understands each individual wants to do the best for themselves, and I don't think anyone is judging Tyrrell or Jon's decision."

Hatton and Rahm proved a major thorn in the United States Ryder Cup side at Marco Simone last September as they went unbeaten together all week. 

They now both find themselves on Rahm's brand new Legion XIII team on LIV Golf alongside teammates Kieran Vincent and Caleb Surratt. 

The team got off to the perfect start last week as they ran out four-stroke victors in the first event of the season at Mayakoba. 

That saw them earn a combined $3m

But Rahm was left to rue a sloppy finish that cost him the individual title on his debut. 

Will Rahm and Hatton make the 2025 European Ryder Cup team?

Donald then gave his own verdict on how the 2025 European Ryder Cup team could shape up, admitting he does not know what the future holds in the professional game amid the ongoing framework agreement talks between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund. 

One reporter asked Donald whether Rahm and Hatton will make his next team.

Donald responded: 

"In terms of whether they're going to be... do I see them on the team? It's really hard for me to answer that question now. What I did so well in my captaincy last year was just control what I can control. We're seven months out probably since qualification starts. We have all this talk about being potential deals with the PGA Tour, with DP World Tour, with the PIF. I have no idea what's going to happen, and for the next seven months, I don't really need to know what's going to happen because qualification for the Ryder Cup won't start until then."

Donald then spoke directly about LIV Golf's new reported $600m man, Rahm, and what he made of the Spaniard's decision to turn his back on the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf.

"Jon is someone who decided that was the best choice for him. A lot of guys have decided that going to LIV is the choice that they were comfortable with, and they thought it was, again, the right decision for them. I'm not here to judge that.
"Sometimes there are consequences to those decisions. There's been a lot of talks about the World Rankings and should LIV guys get it. Again, I think sometimes there are consequences to certain decisions, and I think a lot of these guys knew that going into it.
"Again, I have a long way since qualification begins, seven months or so. A lot can happen with the game. It's continuing to change. It's continuing to evolve. We don't know what's going to happen over the next few months. Until I know, I'm not going to make any decisions."

The PGA Tour's potential partnership with the PIF has taken something of a hit in recent weeks as a result of the circuit announcing a new $3 billion private investment deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), albeit a deal with PIF could still be on the cards. 

Jordan Spieth does not think a deal with PIF is now needed, while Rory McIlroy believes the complete opposite. 

So much so, McIlroy has left the chat

Rory McIlroy's 'inaccuracy'

Donald then addressed McIlroy's recent 'inaccurate' comments about the European Ryder Cup team having to change their structure to allow Rahm back into the fold. 

'Change the rules', said McIlroy, who eventually realised his mistake. 

As it stands, because the likes of Rahm and Hatton remain DP World Tour members - at least to Donald's knowledge right now - they are still eligible to compete in the 2025 European Ryder Cup team. 

Donald said: 

"On Rory's comment, he was a little inaccurate in terms of changing the rules for Jon to be a part of it because currently right now you have to be European and be a member of the DP World Tour. Jon, Tyrrell, as far as I know are still members of the European Tour and would be eligible. Nothing has changed there.
"Even going back to last year, there was a couple guys playing on LIV that maintained their membership, and I kept an eye on everyone that was eligible for me to be able to pick. The guys that decided to resign their membership, yeah, at that point I couldn't pick them, but at this moment those are the rules, and so far I'm sure Jon, I'm sure Tyrrell, they want to be a part of it, and they will hopefully adhere to whatever the rules are that allows them to play in the Ryder Cup."

Should LIV Golf players still be allowed to compete in the Ryder Cup? What do you make of both Hatton and Rahm going to LIV Golf this season? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

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