Former PGA winner backs Ryder Cup ban for LIV stars

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Players who sign up for the breakaway LIV Series should be banned from the Ryder Cup, according to a former PGA Championship winner.

Bosses at the PGA and DP World tours have threatened to stop players taking part in the biennial clash if they take part in the rebel tour, which begins next month.

The tours have faced criticism from some quarters for their stance – but although 2002 PGA champion Rich Beem admitted he would consider an offer from the Saudi-backed league, he insisted he supports their stance.

“I don’t agree with Greg Norman saying that he‘s growing the game in Saudi Arabia,” Beem told BoyleSports.

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“I don’t buy that at all. If he shows me some proof then maybe I’d buy into it. As far as it being good for the game, if it wasn’t for money, they wouldn't have anything. They wouldn’t have a series or anything, but it is a substantial amount of money and I can completely understand why certain players would go and join those players for the guarantee of money.

“It’d be wise for any player after their best days have gone by. If I was 45 years old and I had the opportunity, I’d have to do some soul searching. But I think if players play in the LIV series, they should be banned from the Ryder Cup.

“They will be banned from their respective tours at some point. I think they’ve made that perfectly clear and hats off to them as it draws a line in the sand because it means they cannot be part of it anymore and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Beem saw off Tiger Woods to claim his shock major 20 years ago, and the 15-time major winner is set to play again this week as he continues his recovery from a car crash last year.

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Despite only playing the Masters since the end of 2020, Beem believes Woods is capable of winning more majors.

“If he can do that at the Masters with maybe three months of good practice, then it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins another major,” he added.

“I still think he’s not out of the woods yet in terms of his injuries, pardon the expression. St Andrews has got to be a place that he’s looking forward to as it’s a flat walk and if the weather is decent, it’s a thinking man’s golf course so he’d have a great opportunity.”

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