Graeme McDowell hopes that his decision to tee it up in the opening LIV Golf event in the Centurion this week won’t diminish his chances of becoming Ryder Cup captain for Europe in the future.
McDowell made four successive Ryder Cup appearances between 2008 and 2014 before serving as a vice-captain to Pádraig Harrington in Wisconsin last September but having been overlooked for the captaincy role in Rome next year, he hopes that the Ryder Cup committee won’t dismiss him in the future particularly when the biennial contest arrives in Adare Manor in 2027.
“It’s something that I weighed up long and hard before I made the decision to come out here,” said McDowell when addressing the media in a pre-tournament press conference. “I hope it doesn’t affect that. When you look at the European Tour and the players that are here this week they have done a huge amount for the Ryder Cup product and it would be a shame to see those guys not invited back if you like.”
Ironically, GMac’s last tour win came on the European Tour at the Saudi Invitational back in 2020 and at that point he looked primed to launch a bid to play his way into Harrington’s European team before the pandemic and a loss of form coincided with a slump for the Portrush native.
McDowell previously had aspirations of playing in one more Ryder Cup with a keen eye on Rome next year but he, like other European players, have had their Ryder Cup futures cast into doubt after deciding to play in the LIV Series this week.
Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Kevin Na have all resigned their memberships from the PGA Tour in the last 24 hours to avoid a legal battle with the tour in order to join LIV and while McDowell is yet to tender his resignation to Jay Monahan and co, he struggles to see the point of legal conflict with the PGA Tour and believes that LIV will benefit all the major golf tours.
“What are the consequences going to be? Are they healthy for the sport of golf? I haven’t resigned from the PGA Tour, as of yet. I don’t really feel like I need to but I also don’t want to get involved in a legal situation with the PGA Tour. They have given me phenomenal opportunities over the last twenty years.
“Why as a player would I want to get involved with one of the greatest tours in the world?
“Is it healthy for the sport? This tour is designed to be an add on to the greatest tours in the world. The schedule has been put together as such that it aligns well with the PGA Tour for example and we all hope that the success out here will continue to attract other players and the ecosystem of golf can all get on together.
“This is a beautiful sport, this is not something designed to be divisive, this is something where we can work together.”