Nick Faldo takes shot at Europe’s LIV golfers for lack of ‘backbone’ ahead of Ryder Cup

Nick Faldo takes shot at Europe’s LIV golfers for lack of ‘backbone’ ahead of Ryder Cup

Sir Nick Faldo is not a fan of LIV Golf.

He emphasized that notion while appearing on Golf Channel’s Golf Today, where he fired shots toward European LIV golfers ahead of the 44th Ryder Cup.

“[LIV] guys have moved on,” Faldo said Monday.

“Those guys have left the tour and are in a different world now. They have not supported the tour; they are done. The game has moved on, and the team has moved on.”

At this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome, the European team will not feature stalwarts Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, and Martin Kaymer.

All five of these players joined LIV Golf in 2022, thus eradicating their chances of playing in the Ryder Cup again. The DP World Tour manages the European team and barred LIV golfers from the competition.

That includes Garcia, who has won more points in the Ryder Cup than any other player in history.

Nick Faldo, Ryder Cup

Nick Faldo at the 2008 Ryder Cup.
Getty Images

Despite the absence of those Ryder Cup legends, however, Faldo feels confident in Team Europe in 2023.

“I think we have one of the strongest teams we have ever had,” Faldo said.

“The European team is fantastic. I don’t think they could do anything better. They have got a really deep backbone. Guys that have been there before, but we also may have a couple of very interesting secret rookies up our sleeve.”

Two young rookies Faldo alluded to are Ludvig Åberg and Nicolai Højgaard, who are 23 and 22 years old, respectively.

Åberg thrillingly won the Omega European Masters, while Højgaard already has two DP World Tour victories to his name.

Other rookies include Sepp Straka and Robert MacIntyre, who had impressive summers.

Straka won the John Deere Classic, shooting a final round 61 to win his second PGA Tour event. MacIntyre, meanwhile, flirted with victory at the Genesis Scottish Open but was upended by one of the best shots of Rory McIlroy’s career.

Speaking of McIlroy, he too feels that LIV golfers will not be missed at Marco Simone.

At the Tour Championship in late August, a reporter asked McIlroy if he had a problem with the Americans allowing LIV golfers to play in the Ryder Cup.

“No,” McIlroy confidently said. “I don’t think [they] would make a difference for us.”

Nick Faldo, Rory McIlroy, The Open, St Andrews

Nick Faldo and Rory McIlroy prior to the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews.
Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images

McIlroy has long criticized LIV Golf since its inception, even saying that he would ‘retire’ if LIV was the only place to play professionally.

So has Faldo, a six-time major champion and Europe’s Ryder Cup captain in 2008.

Ahead of the British Masters in late June, Faldo said that “nobody was really interested” in LIV Golf.

He doubled down on those comments Monday on Golf Today, which is no surprise.

But with the pending agreement between the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), DP World Tour, and PGA Tour, who knows if the eligibility for the 2025 Ryder Cup will be amended.

Nevertheless, those who play for LIV are in a “different world now,” according to Faldo, but that could all change soon.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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