Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald hopes for 'clarity' on availability of LIV players

New Team Europe captain says he is committed to picking the strongest 12-man team to challenge the United States next year

Luke Donald was on Monday installed as new Ryder Cup captain of Team Europe. AFP
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New Team Europe Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald said he is unsure if LIV Golf players will be allowed to feature in next year's event.

Donald, 44, replaced Henrik Stenson as captain on Monday after the Swede was stripped of the role days before signing up for the lucrative Saudi-backed breakaway league, winning on debut in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Golfers participating in LIV Golf events have been suspended by the PGA Tour and sanctioned by Europe's DP World Tour but Donald says he is committed to picking the strongest 12-man team to challenge the United States.

"Part of being a captain is to create a strong 12-man unified team, and I'll be working on that over the next 14 months," Donald told reporters.

Among the Ryder Cup players for Europe who joined the LIV Golf Series are Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Paul Casey. Qualifying has yet to begin and Donald said the situation was less than ideal.

"Hopefully, we'll have some clarity on that situation and we can start making some decisions. There's a legal situation going on. But I don't think that situation's going to get resolved any time soon."

The $255 million LIV series, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, has shaken the sport with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Bubba Watson among its marquee names.

Former world No 1 Donald, who was part of four winning Ryder Cup teams as a player, including the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012, added that he had no intention of going down the same path.

"I have signed a contract and I intend to see that through. I'm giving you my word that I will be here for the next 14 months," said the Englishman. "I'm excited about this opportunity, I really am."

The Ryder Cup will be held in Rome from September 29-October 1 next year. Holders the United States will be led by two-time major winner Zach Johnson.

Updated: August 02, 2022, 4:43 AM