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Paul Casey believes Luke Donald is missing out on invaluable experience without exiled stalwarts Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood in the European Ryder Cup locker room.
Casey, who has represented Europe in five Ryder Cups, has told Golf Digest that the absence of his two fellow Englishmen in Rome is to the detriment of captain Donald.
Poulter and Westwood are banished from the forthcoming showdown at Marco Simone after resigning their DP World Tour memberships in the wake of the duo’s defection to LIV Golf.
Europe’s leading points scorer Sergio Garcia and former Open champion Henrik Stenson, who was stripped of the captaincy after his LIV switch, are also ineligible.
There will be no European LIV presence in Italy, a scenario Rory McIlroy does not expect to cause any harm to Donald’s chances of reclaiming the trophy.
Casey, however, seems to disagree with McIlroy’s assertion.
“Let’s say Ian Poulter isn’t playing the golf he wants to play,” he explained. “Or has played in the past. And so won’t be part of the 12-man team. I would still have him be involved.
“That’s what is going to be missing in Rome, guys like Poulter and [Lee] Westwood in the locker room. I’ve been in those locker rooms. The pundits and the commentators have not.”
Casey has likely played in his last Ryder Cup after losing all four matches in the 19-9 humiliation to the Americans at Whistling Straits in 2021.
The 46-year-old is certainly not harbouring any regrets on his new path, though, after first making his debut in blue-and-gold way back in 2004.
“I will miss being part of the Ryder Cup when it happens,” Casey admitted.
“I obviously don’t know if I would have made the team this time but I was certainly capable of doing so.
“No guarantees though. Or regrets. If you regret stuff in golf, it’s hard sport to play. You wouldn’t last long with that sort of thinking. I learned that early on. You just have to get on with it.”
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