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LIV Golf Invitational Series: Ian Poulter hits back at Rory McIlroy over Ryder Cup ‘treason’ claims | Golf news

Poulter: “I think my dedication to the Ryder Cup goes for me. I don’t think that should ever come into question. I’ve always wanted to play Ryder Cups and played with as much passion as anyone I’ve ever owned a Ryder. Watch the Cup play.”

Last updated: 26/10/22 6:00 PM

Ian Poulter responded to comments made by Rory McIlroy in an interview with Guardian, where he described a 'betrayal'

Ian Poulter responded to comments made by Rory McIlroy in an interview with Guardian, where he described a ‘betrayal’

Ian Poulter has lashed out at Rory McIlroy, describing his Ryder Cup teammates joining LIV Golf as a “betrayal” and insisting he still wants to represent Team Europe in the future.

LIV Golf members can currently still compete in the DP World Tour and earn Ryder Cup qualification points, although it remains unclear whether they will be allowed to appear at Marco Simone GC next September.

McIlroy said in a interview with the Guardian he sensed “betrayal” from his Ryder Cup teammates joining the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit and questioned their commitment to Team Europe, while Poulter remains adamant that his love for the biennial competition is undiminished.

Ryder Cup captains Luke Donald and Zach Johnson avoided talking about LIV Golf earlier this month, due to a current lack of clarity about Ryder Cup qualifiers

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Ryder Cup captains Luke Donald and Zach Johnson avoided talking about LIV Golf earlier this month, due to a current lack of clarity about Ryder Cup qualifiers

Ryder Cup captains Luke Donald and Zach Johnson avoided talking about LIV Golf earlier this month, due to a current lack of clarity about Ryder Cup qualifiers

“A betrayal? We can still qualify for the team as far as I know,” Poulter said ahead of LIV Golf’s season-ending Team Championship. “Unless we’ve been told we can’t qualify, I’m still ready to play as much as possible and try to make that team.

“I think my dedication to the Ryder Cup goes for me. I don’t think that should ever come into question. I’ve always wanted to play Ryder Cups and played with as much passion as anyone I’ve ever seen a Ryder Cup. to play.

“I honestly don’t know where that comment came from.”

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood said earlier in the summer they were unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status

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Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood said earlier in the summer they were unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood said earlier in the summer they were unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status

Five of the European teams beaten by a record margin at Whistling Straits last September have already joined LIV Golf, including Poulter, record scorer Sergio Garcia and Ryder Cup fanatic Lee Westwood.

Paul Casey and Bernd Wiesberger also made the switch, along with former Ryder Cup winners Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer, while Henrik Stenson was stripped of the Team Europe captaincy for the 2023 match after joining the breakaway tour.

Scottie Scheffler said in September there is more talent on the PGA Tour than on the LIV Golf circuit

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Scottie Scheffler said in September there is more talent on the PGA Tour than on the LIV Golf circuit

Scottie Scheffler said in September there is more talent on the PGA Tour than on the LIV Golf circuit

Mickelson Praises McIlroy and Softens LIV Golf Claims

McIlroy has regularly spoken out in support of the traditional golf tours and prior to his CJ Cup title defense dismissed claims from six-time Grand Champion Phil Mickelson, who previously suggested that LIV Golf was on the right track while the PGA Tour was on the decline.

“First of all, what a great win he had last week,” Mickelson said of McIlroy on Wednesday. “He played great golf. I think it was an impressive win.

Rory McIlroy Responds To Phil Mickelson's Claim That LIV Golf Is On The Rise And The PGA Tour Is In Decline

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Rory McIlroy Responds To Phil Mickelson’s Claim That LIV Golf Is On The Rise And The PGA Tour Is In Decline

Rory McIlroy Responds To Phil Mickelson’s Claim That LIV Golf Is On The Rise And The PGA Tour Is In Decline

“Maybe I shouldn’t have said things” [about the PGA Tour] so I don’t know. But if I just look at LIV Golf and where we are now to where we were six, seven months ago and people are saying this is dead in the water.

“We are beyond that, and here we are today – a force in the game that is not going away, that has players of this caliber moving professional golf around the world and the excitement level in the countries around the world of having a some of the best players in the game of golf who come to their country and participate.

Jon Rahm has dismissed Phil Mickelson's claim that the PGA Tour is on a 'downtrend' and says animosity between players won't work in a Ryder Cup team after Sergio Garcia said he'd rather not participate if he negatively influence his teammates

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Jon Rahm has dismissed Phil Mickelson’s claim that the PGA Tour is on a ‘downtrend’ and says animosity between players won’t work in a Ryder Cup team after Sergio Garcia said he’d rather not participate if he negatively influence his teammates

Jon Rahm has dismissed Phil Mickelson’s claim that the PGA Tour is on a ‘downtrend’ and says animosity between players won’t work in a Ryder Cup team after Sergio Garcia said he’d rather not participate if he negatively influence his teammates

“It’s quite remarkable how far LIV Golf has come in the last six, seven months. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that.”

Smith takes on Mickelson in Team Championship

The draw took place for the LIV Golf’s Team Championship on Wednesday, with captains of teams that ranked fifth to eighth in the season standings to choose their opponents for Friday’s opening round.

Six-time major winner Mickelson takes on reigning Open champion Cameron Smith in one of the most important singles of the day, which also sees Chilean top pro Joaquin Niemann take on former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer.

Phil Mickelson says he believes he is on the 'winning side' of the current divide within the sport after choosing to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series

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Phil Mickelson says he believes he is on the ‘winning side’ of the current divide within the sport after choosing to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series

Phil Mickelson says he believes he is on the ‘winning side’ of the current divide within the sport after choosing to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series

Poulter – this week as captain for Majesticks GC in place of Lee Westwood – will face off against Iron Heads GC captain Kevin Na, with four-time big winner Brooks Koepka against Niblicks GC’s Harold Varner III.

Two singles and one foursome match will take place in each match on Friday, with all 32 players competing simultaneously and each match winner receiving one point. The team that gets two points first will advance to the semi-finals on Saturday.

Smash GC vs Niblicks GC

  • Foursome: Jason Kokrak and Chase Koepka vs Turk Pettit and Hudson Swafford
  • Singles: Brooks Koepka vs Harold Varner III
  • Singles: Peter Uihlein vs James Piot

Majesticks GC vs Iron Heads GC

  • Foursome: Sam Horsfield and Henrik Stenson vs Sadom Kaewkanjana and Phachara Khongwatmai
  • Singles: Ian Poulter vs Kevin Na
  • Singles: Lee Westwood vs Sihwan Kim

Pair GC vs Cleeks GC

  • Foursome: Adrian Otaegui and Scott Vincent vs Graeme McDowell and Richard Bland
  • Singles: Joaquin Niemann vs Martin Kaymer
  • Singles: Jediah Morgan vs Laurie Canter

HY Flyers GC vs Punch GC

  • Foursome: Bernd Wiesberger and Cameron Tringale vs Matt Jones and Wade Ormsby
  • Singles: Phil Mickelson vs Cameron Smith
  • Singles: Matt Wolff vs Marc Leishman

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