Donald mum on Rahm, Hatton's Ryder Cup status

golf07 February 2024 03:41| © Reuters
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Jon Rahm © Gallo Images

With several months until Ryder Cup qualification starts, European captain Luke Donald side-stepped the question of whether Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton will be on the team after leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.

"Do I see them (on the team)? It's really hard for me to answer that question now," Donald told reporters Tuesday at the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. "What I did so well in my captaincy last year was just control what I can control. We're seven months out probably until qualification starts.

"We have all this talk about being potential deals with the PGA Tour, with DP World Tour, with the PIF. I have no idea what's going to happen, and for the next seven months, I don't really need to know what's going to happen because qualification for the Ryder Cup won't start until then."

Donald also said that no one from Europe's Ryder Cup team is judging Rahm or Hatton, who joined LIV Golf last week, for making the switch even though it may jeopardize their Ryder Cup participation.

"I haven't seen too many of the guys," Donald said. "We still have a group WhatsApp chat, and we're all participating in that chat that we created for Rome.

"There's nothing adverse or anything within that chat. Everyone understands each individual wants to do the best for themselves, and I don't think anyone is judging Tyrrell or Jon's decision."

As members of the European Tour, Rahm and Hatton remain eligible under the current rules, but Donald said he couldn't guarantee they would be eligible when it comes time to pick the Ryder Cup team and defend Europe's title.

"The guys that decided to resign their membership, yeah, at that point I couldn't pick them," Donald said, "but at this moment those are the rules, and so far, I'm sure Jon, I'm sure Tyrrell, they want to be a part of it, and they will hopefully adhere to whatever the rules are that allows them to play in the Ryder Cup."

After Rahm made the move to LIV Golf, Rory McIlroy felt the rules would have to be changed for Rahm to be allowed to compete at Bethpage in 2025.

"Well, again, Rory's comment, he was a little inaccurate in terms of changing the rules for Jon to be a part of it because currently right now you have to be European and be a member of the DP World Tour," Donald said.

Hatton said he and Rahm plan to play DP World events but realises that is yet to be determined.

"As it currently stands, signing with LIV, you know you're going to miss out on some events," Hatton said. "I'm obviously hoping that things will work itself out and that down the line we'll still be able to play certain events. I still plan on trying to play DP World events this year. I know Jon is the same. Yeah, we'll just have to see how it all works out."