At least one potential member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team for 2023 said he is willing to overlook the controversy of the past year to engineer a defeat for the United States.
England’s Matt Fitzpatrick made a case for having Spain’s Sergio Garcia in the Europe Ryder Cup team despite the latter’s move to the Saudi-funded LIV Tour in 2022.
The Ryder Cup will take place in Rome this summer as Europe aims to avoid a loss to the United States on European soil for the first time since 1993.
“I think there are definitely some personal relationships that have been dented by this,” Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports News. “I’m not bothered, I just want to win, and I’m sure those boys do too.”
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, another likely player in Team Europe, has been critical of players switching to LIV. But Team Europe, led by captain Luke Donald, has not announced whether it will continue without LIV players.
European players in limbo include Garcia, as well as England’s Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood. Henrik Stenson from Sweden was removed from his captaincy following his move to LIV. The United States has chosen to proceed without LIV participants such as Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed.
“Sergio would be the one that would stand out for me, especially,” Fitzpatrick said in his view of the European team. “I don’t know the details of (his relationship with McIlroy). … I’m happy to room with him, if that were the case. I can turn him around for everybody else.”
The USA ran Europe in the last Ryder Cup 2021 in Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. That event was delayed a year by the covid-19 pandemic. Before the American victory, Europe had won four of the previous five races, including three in a row at one point.
While Fitzpatrick is willing to work with LIV participants to bring a Ryder Cup title back to Europe, his compassion for these players has its limits.
“As long as you go (to LIV) and don’t come back, I have no problem,” Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports. “Go take the money, go play wherever you want, I couldn’t care less, just don’t come back and then take seats from other guys who want to play.”
–Field Level Media