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As far as Jose Maria Olazabal is concerned, actions must have consequences.
The former Ryder Cup captain has weighed in on Jon Rahm’s move to LIV Golf and, perhaps most importantly, what his fellow Spaniard’s high-profile defection means for next year’s match in New York.
As it stands, Rahm’s future in the biennial joust with the USA is uncertain as protracted talks continue between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi Investment Public Fund bankrolling the LIV venture.
The Masters champion and his new Legion XIII teammate Tyrrell Hatton have both remained members on the European circuit, but will find it difficult to play the minimum four events and keep their cards for 2025 if issued bans for competing on LIV.
And Olazabal, who was Luke Donald’s assistant in Rome’s last year, believes that Europe might be just fine without the duo if they are deemed ineligible for the contest.
“I respect everyone who has gone to LIV Golf,” Olazabal told the Golf sin Etiquetas podcast, translated by Handicap 54.
“The other part that bothers me is that if you make a decision, it must have consequences. You can’t expect to have the same rights as PGA Tour and DP World Tour players.
“As for changing the rules for Ryder Cup Europe… I don’t know what to tell you. If you miss players like Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, you could be left naked for one or two Ryder Cups. And?
“What if you suddenly get three Ludvig Abergs, the Hojgaard [twins]? Turns out we might be able to compete.”
Olazabal’s view contrasts to what Rory McIlroy said in the wake of Rahm’s seismic switch. McIlroy claimed Ryder Cup Europe’s eligibility rules will need to change to accommodate the two-time major champion. “Jon is going to be in Bethpage in 2025,” McIlroy insisted.
Rahm, meanwhile, still appears optimistic that he can fill his DP World Tour quota that would make him eligible for the match regardless.
“With the DP World Tour, we’ve seen examples of people playing events – that’s definitely a possibility,” Rahm said as he prepares for his second LIV start in Las Vegas.
“If allowed, I would love to play the Spanish Open.. and if I qualify, I’d still love to go play in Dubai, in the DP World Tour Championship. There’s certainly events I would like to play.”
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