Westwood and Poulter unsure over Ryder Cup futures amid LIV Golf grilling

By Sports Desk June 08, 2022

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood on Wednesday faced a grilling over their participation in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series that they hope will not end their Ryder Cup days.

The English duo will tee off at Centurion Golf Club when the first event of the controversial breakaway tour starts on Thursday.

Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson this week quit the PGA Tour after agreeing huge offers to join the LIV Tour.

Westwood and Poulter were quizzed over their morals as they became the latest players to be asked about Saudi Arabia's human rights record.

When asked if he would play in a tournament organised by Russian president Vladimir Putin, Poulter said: "I'm not even going to comment on speculation" before refusing to answer when quizzed if there is anywhere he would not play on a moral basis.

Westwood then replied "you're just asking us to a hypothetical question there and I'm not going to your answer" after being asked if he would have played in Apartheid South Africa.

Signing up to the LIV Tour has led to uncertainty over whether Ryder Cup stalwarts Westwood and Poulter were ruling themselves out of representing Europe again.

Poulter said: "We don't know [if they could be involved in the Ryder Cup]. I'd like to think it wouldn't [prevent them from being involved], all the golf I've played around the world in all the different countries and tours I don't see why this should be any different.

"It's an unknown risk, we don't know how DP World Tour will view it, it's obviously a factor."

Westwood, who pointed out that he has played on European Tour events in Saudi Arabia, said: "It's something I have to take into account. I'm not sure about the playing days, I'm 50 next April. The captaincy could be in jeopardy as well, but Ian pretty much covered it all.

"What I will say is myself and Ian have been members of the PGA Tour while we've been on the European Tour and that's had no effect in the past on whether people have been captains.

"LIV Golf is another tour so why should it be any different?"

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