Ireland’s Shane Lowry said Wednesday he doesn’t know if LIV Golf rebels should be allowed on the European Ryder Cup team, but if they are he hopes it doesn’t make for tension in the squad.
“The way it is now, they’re eligible to make the team, and if they play well enough, they’ll make the team. So it’s a very interesting time, obviously,” Lowry said as he prepared for Thursday’s start to the US PGA Tour Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida.
“I don’t know whether they should or they shouldn’t. That’s just kind of the way I am now. But even if I had an opinion, I can’t really say because if I’m a part of the team and then there’s bad blood there, it doesn’t bode well for the team.”
Europe will host this year’s edition of the biennial match play showdown with the United States in Rome.
A number of European Ryder Cup stalwarts — including Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and recent Belgian signing Thomas Pieters — have made the jump to the LIV Golf circuit.
The make-up of the European team hinges on an arbitration case in London, with the result expected to be known next month.
Lowry said he’s most concerned that Europe bounce back from a crushing defeat to the United States at Whistling Straits in 2021.
“I’m all about Team Europe and the Ryder Cup, and I’ll do everything in my power to be a part of something that will be special in September.”
Lowry is hoping to build momentum this week after bouncing back from two consecutive missed cuts with a tie for 14th place at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera on Sunday.
“Felt like I was very close to a pretty good week,” Lowry said. “So yeah, I’m pretty happy where my game is at. I like this golf course, like this tournament.”
Last year at PGA National he finished runner-up to Austrian Sepp Straka, who grabbed the win with a birdie at the 72nd hole.
“I had a two-shot lead with five to play,” Lowry recalled. “I didn’t feel like I did much wrong the last five holes out here, which is tough to do because it’s obviously a very tough stretch of golf, and yeah, I got beat by Sepp in the end.
“It was disappointing at the time, but I remember it kind of kick-started a nice consistent run of golf for me.”