The absence of LIV golfers Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, and Ian Poulter’s “big personalities” at the Ryder Cup, according to Rory McIlroy, let other players take on leadership positions and gave younger competitors a chance to develop.
Garcia, Westwood, and Poulter missed Europe’s triumph against the United States at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club because they had resigned from the DP World Tour after deciding to play on the LIV circuit, which Saudi Arabia supports.
Over the years, the trio had important roles in the Ryder Cup.
With 28-1/2 points from 10 visits, Garcia holds the record for Europe, while Westwood gained 24 points in 11 outings at the biannual competition, including seven victories.
Poulter participated in seven Ryder Cups and contributed to Europe’s victories in five of them. His outstanding play earned him the moniker “The Postman” since he consistently delivered at the competition.
The 34-year-old McIlroy added, “They have had unbelievable Ryder Cup careers and they have made their choices and done what they have done and no one can take away the impact they have had for the European team over the years.”
“However, I believe that this week, having those prominent figures absent from the team room gave Viktor (Hovland), Jon (Rahm), and I the opportunity to grow and shine.
“Some of the other strong personalities didn’t take up a lot of room in that room, and I think it just allowed the rest of the team to sort of blossom. They are a youthful squad. Together, we can all progress.
The next time, I may be the team’s senior member. A new age has begun. It’s also quite an excellent one.
As they turned their attention to the competition in Bethpage, New York, in 2025, Shane Lowry concurred that the triumph in Rome may mark the beginning of a new era.
“I believe that, and I’m not even referring to the 12 players present. Lowry said that Rasmus Hojgaard, Vincent Norrman, and Adrian Meronk come to mind.
We have a wonderful basis for the future, and I believe it is a terrific opportunity to look ahead. Look at all the young players in Europe that are emerging.