Golf: Ian Poulter might skip Ryder Cup even if he qualifies

Ian Poulter said that it is no guarantee he would play for Europe in the 2023 Ryder Cup even if he does manage to qualify. PHOTO:AFP

LOS ANGELES – Ian Poulter’s love affair with the Ryder Cup might be over.

The outspoken Englishman said on Tuesday that it is no guarantee he would play for Europe in the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome even if he does manage to qualify.

“I would love to qualify. Whether I play or not would be a different thing,” the LIV Golf player said, ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I certainly don’t expect to get one of the six (captain’s) picks. Not in any way, shape or form. Which is also a shame.”

Poulter has played in seven Ryder Cups, helping Europe win five. He has a 15-8-2 overall record in the event, including 6-0-1 in singles.

But his standing for the 2023 competition is in jeopardy because of his allegiance to the Saudi-backed LIV tour.

The DP World Tour attempted to ban LIV players from competing in its events last summer, but Poulter and others won a temporary stay on that ruling.

A court case in Europe is scheduled for February to determine whether the DP World Tour can banish members of LIV. If it can, it would take players like Poulter and Spaniard Sergio Garcia out of the running for the team.

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson was stripped of his 2023 European captaincy upon accepting a deal to join LIV Golf. He was replaced by Englishman Luke Donald, who has not answered what he calls “hypotheticals” about whether he would add LIV players to his team.

Poulter got snippy with the official Ryder Cup Twitter account last week, pointing out that it had not acknowledged his 47th birthday or Garcia’s 43rd birthday the day before.

He said on Tuesday he was “fighting petty with petty” with that decision.

“Through time, I have said lots of silly things,” Poulter said. “Should I have said it? Yes and no. All I did was highlight a fact.”

Meanwhile, LIV Golf is close to completing a television rights agreement with The CW, Golf.com reported.

LIV was without a US television deal in its initial season in 2022, streaming events on its website and on YouTube. As a result, the breakaway league struggled to reach mainstream audiences.

LIV CEO Greg Norman told Golf.com last week: “When we go internationally, we are applauded and accepted and everybody wants to see us. So here in the United States, it was obviously a very critical point to our business plan to make sure we do get on TV.” REUTERS

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