(Photo credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)
Sergio Garcia won't play for the European team at the upcoming Ryder Cup, but Jon Rahm hopes his fellow Spanish star can be there as a vice captain to support the side.
Garcia, like all other players who left the DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour) for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, was omitted from captain Luke Donald's playing roster. The U.S. team will feature just one LIV player, Brooks Koepka.
Rahm threw his support behind Garcia, the winningest player in Ryder Cup history, becoming a vice captain for the European squad. Garcia has 25 wins, 13 losses and seven halves in his career. Europe's Nick Faldo (23 victories) and the United States' Arnold Palmer (22) rank next on the all-time wins list.
"I think it would be really stupid of anybody not to lean on Sergio Garcia's experience in the Ryder Cup," Rahm said Wednesday ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England. "I mean, he is the best player Europe has ever had, won the most points and has shown it time and time again. If he were able to be a vice captain, I absolutely would lean on him. Same as we are going to lean on (Jose Maria Olazabal) this coming Ryder Cup, right."
Addressing the potential Ryder Cup playing careers of Garcia and English golfers Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, who all defected to LIV, Rahm said, "When it comes to the game and all those players being able to be back, it's been a difficult time. Obviously things have changed a little bit. I wouldn't know how to answer because we are going to have to see if it's possible or not, right?
"I would like to see it, but unfortunately we've seen some of those players give up their (DP World) Tour status where that's no longer a possibility. So I would like to see it but we don't know what the future holds, right? I think with this agreement or this possible union between the PGA Tour, DP World and PIF might change things a little bit."
The Ryder Cup is scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy. The United States is the defending champion, having won 19-9 at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis., in 2021.
--Field Level Media