Europe’s Ryder Cup Team In Jeopardy As PGA Players Leave For LIV

PGA: THE PLAYERS Championship - delayed Final Round
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

LIV Golf is stirring up quite the storm for Europe’s Ryder Cup team next year, per new reports

Henrik Stenson, who was supposed to lead the squad, is apparently on his way to LIV Golf. Other reports have said that just days after winning the Open Championship, the world number 2 golfer Cam Smith could possibly be joining him.

Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, and Graeme McDowell have already joined LIV, so adding two more names could do real damage to the squads chances of finding a squad captain for next season.

Garcia was especially candid when talking about the DP World Tour, stating, “I am quite clear about what I am going to do with the European circuit. Probably leave it. I want to play where I feel loved, and right now in the European Tour, I am not feeling loved.”

A more concerning move for the PGA Tour at the moment is the possibility of a top five golfer in the world leaving the tour, which could encourage other players to also leave.

When confronted about a possible LIV move after winning the Open championship this past Sunday, Cam Smith said, “I don’t know, mate. My team around me worries about all that stuff. I’m here to win golf tournaments.”

In the final round at St. Andrews on Sunday, Smith finished with eight birdies, ten pars, and a clutch save at the 17th hole. He put on one of the most impressive performances of the year, at arguably the most prestigious event.

According to ESPN, Cameron Smith is the only player over the last 20 years to birdie the first 5 holes of the back nine in the final round of any major.

Clearly, losing that level of talent could be worrying for the PGA Tour, and it could end up being the biggest blow yet. It seems that the 28-year-old Aussie has his best golf ahead of him after quickly rising up the rankings the last few seasons.

While the Ryder Cup drama will have to wait until 2023, the Presidents’ Cup, which sets America’s top players against those from all around the world outside of Europe, might also witness a change this autumn.

2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama has apparently been courted by LIV Golf, which could complicate things.

The Presidents Cup is set to tee off in just eight weeks at Quail Hollow.