Ahead of the BMW PGA Championship, Jon Rahm discussed numerous topics but mostly touched on the upcoming Ryder Cup.
In doing so, he spoke candidly about his desire to have Sergio Garcia serve as a vice-captain on a European Ryder Cup team.
“I think it would be really stupid for anybody not to lean on Sergio García’s experience in The Ryder Cup,” Rahm said. “He is the best player Europe has ever had, won the most points, and he has shown it time and time again.”
Garcia, the 2017 Masters Champion, has earned 28.5 points over his Ryder Cup career, the most of any player who has ever played in competition.
The Spaniard played in 10 Ryder cups, the second most in European history after Nick Faldo and Lee Westwood, who both played in 11.
But Garcia’s commitment to LIV Golf has barred him from playing in the Ryder Cup for now. The DP World Tour facilitates the event from the European side, and they made it clear early on that nobody playing for LIV would be allowed to play for or captain Team Europe.
Hence the tour stripping Henrik Stenson of the captaincy in 2022. The DP World Tour then named Luke Donald, the new European captain soon thereafter.
“If [Garcia] could be a vice-captain, I absolutely would lean on him,” Rahm added. “Same as how we are going to lean on [Jose Maria Olazábal] at this coming Ryder Cup, right?”
Olazábal will be joined by Belgian Nicolas Colsearts and Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari as vice-captains in 2023.
But Garcia will not be at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, the site of this year’s Ryder Cup.
Yet, the pending deal between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) may change that, and Rahm hopes the agreement eliminates this division in golf.
“Obviously, things have changed a little bit,” Rahm said.
“I would like to see it, but unfortunately, we’ve seen some of those players give up their European 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 this agreement or this possible union between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and PIF might change things a little bit.”
The three stakeholders have until the end of 2023 to strike an official agreement. Until then, it’s hard to imagine what professional golf will look like in the coming years, including the next Ryder Cup in 2025 at Bethpage Black.