LIV Golf League: Sergio Gracia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood quit DP World Tour - can they play Ryder Cup 2023?

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Rory McIlroy will be without 2014 winning trio for 2023 Ryder Cup event

Former Ryder Cup stars Sergio Gracia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have all resigned from the DP World Tour and will now be ineligible to play in this year’s Ryder Cup.

The three golf stars, along with Richard Bland, were sanctioned for breaking tour rules when they joined the LIV Golf League and the players have since said they had “no option” but to resign due to the punishments being imposed on them.

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The players were handed £100,000 fines for playing in LIV’s opening tournament at the Centurion Club last June and they recently lost an appeal held by the arbitration service Sport Resolutions. The professional golfers had until 3 May to pay their fines and Lee Westwood confirmed in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph that he has indeed paid his fine.

Spain’s Gracia is Europe’s all-time record points scorer while Westwood has played in a record 11 matches for the European team. The current world number one, and recent The Masters Champion, Jon Rahm has previously made no secret that he had wished to partner up with Gracia as both Spaniards worked together successfully when Europe ultimately lost at Whistling Straits in 2021.

Here is all you need to know about what has been said regarding the decision...

2014 Ryder Cup winners Sergio Gracia, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter2014 Ryder Cup winners Sergio Gracia, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter
2014 Ryder Cup winners Sergio Gracia, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter | Getty Images

What have the DP World Tour said?

After it was announced that the three players would not be able to play, the DP World Tour made a statement saying it thanked the players for the contributions they had made: “In particular Segio, Ian and Lee for their significant part they have played in Europe’s success in the Ryder Cup over many years.

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“The resignations, however, along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices. As we have consistently maintained throughout the past year, the tour has a responsibility to its entire membership to administer the member regulations which the player signs up to. These regulations are in place to protect the collective interests of all DP World Tour members.”

What have the Players said?

Westwood, who recently did an interview with the Daily Telegraph, called it a “sad day. I could not see any other option with all the punishments hanging over me.

“I don’t agree with the direction (chief executive) Keith (Pelley) and his board have taken and I want to move on.

When is the Ryder Cup 2023?

The Ryder Cup will take place from Friday 29 September until Sunday 1 October and will be held at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio near Rome.

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Henrik Stenson was initially announced as the European team captain for the upcoming tournament. The decision was made in March 2022 but the Swedish golfer was then removed from his post due to his decision to join LIV Golf. In July 2022, Englishman Luke Donald was then declared the new captain.

2015 Open Champion Zach Johnson will lead the US contingent when they travel to Rome later this year. Seven of the last eight tournaments have been won by the host nation, a run stretching back to 2006, with Europe last winning in 2018.

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