DP World Tour chief: No need to change Ryder Cup eligibility for LIV players

Ronan MacNamara

Tyrrell Hatton and Jon Rahm (Photo by Maddie Meyer/PGA of America/PGA of America via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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European Ryder Cup stars Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton remain eligible for the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black as long as they pay fines and serve suspensions for moving to LIV Golf.

New DP World Tour chief Guy Kinnings insists there is no need to change the existing Ryder Cup eligibility criteria despite two of Europe’s biggest players defecting to LIV in the aftermath of their triumphant victory last September.

Rory McIlroy previously called for a change to the eligibility rules when Rahm left for LIV before the end of 2023 but new European boss Kinnings who will reside at the tour’s Wentworth base doesn’t see a need for such a move.

“If you look at eligibility criteria for 2023, then I think there has been a slight misconception,” he told reporters.

“The reality is, under the current rules, if a player is European, a member of the DP World Tour and abides by the rules – if you don’t get a release there are sanctions and you take those penalties – there is no reason why players who have taken LIV membership could not qualify or be available for selection.”

While Rahm and Hatton remain members of the DP World Tour, they must apply for a release to compete on the Saudi funded breakaway tour. Fines of up to £100,000 are possible and such penalties prompted the likes of Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood to resign their memberships from the DP World Tour, thus rendering them ineligible for Ryder Cup selection.

Rahm had previously called for his fellow Spaniard, Garcia, to be selected for Luke Donald’s European side.

“We take everything on a case by case basis,” Kinnings stated. “Everything must be done in a fair, reasonable, proportionate way – that is what Sports Resolutions ruled on.”

Kinnings also claimed that LIV Golf’s fourteen-event schedule means there is enough calendar space for players to play on the breakaway tour and play the mandatory four DP World Tour events to retain membership.

“All suspensions will count and you have to serve them,” Kinnings said. “And the guys who’ve analysed this in detail have said if they do it the right way, there is no reason why they can’t play in the Ryder Cup.

“We’re not going to change anything on that basis. Rules are rules and they apply for every member.

“We’re not in a position to be changing rules that we’ve had to go to court to defend.”

Kinnings also admitted that while a framework agreement was announced ten months ago, a meeting between PIF, the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour has yet to happen.

“It has to be better for the professional game to find a single product and he is a very smart guy. He will know that,” Kinnings said.

“Everyone is going to have to give a bit to get to where you need to. The more you read headlines about viewership figures going down, people realise if they don’t move quickly there will be lasting damage.

“And I don’t think Yasir wants damage to the game, he clearly likes the game.”

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