Rory McIlroy is the latest professional golfer to weigh in on the controversy between LIV Golf and the European Tour.
Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia resigned last week from the DP World Tour memberships. They were all sanctioned for playing events for the Saudi-backed venture without permission. The trio of golfers played in the inaugural LIV Golf event last June in London, which violated the conflicting tournament regulation policy according to the European Tour.
The tour fined each golfer 100,000 pounds ($125,000) and after an arbitrator ruled in favor of the DP World Tour, they all resigned their membership, which will now render them ineligible for the Ryder Cup.
McIlroy who is one of the most successful European-born professional golfers of the modern era, has represented Europe six times at the Ryder Cup. While he has been one of the harshest critics of LIV Golf, McIlroy recognized these resignations will affect the golf world moving forward.
“I think it’s a shame that you’ve got the highest points scorer ever in the Ryder Cup [Garcia] and two guys [Poulter and Westwood] that when they look back on their career, that’s probably going to be at least a big chunk of their legacy is the roles that they have played in the Ryder Cup for Europe,” McIlroy recently said of the trio, via USA Today’s Golf Week.
“For those three guys to not captain Europe one day, it’s a shame.”
While McIlroy had some sympathy, he pointed to the DP World Tour’s statement, which acknowledged that this was always going to end poorly.
“But as the DP World Tour said in their statement, at the end of the day that was their choice and they knew these were potentially going to be the consequences of those choices and of those actions and here we are. It’s certainly a shame.”