Ryder Cup: No hard feelings as Graeme McDowell sets alarm to follow Europe in Rome

McDowell, who sank the winning putt at Celtic Manor in 2010, is one of a number of LIV golfers ruled out of any involvement

Graeme McDowell admits that he’ll have his alarm set for just after midnight at his Florida home to root for Europe and fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy to regain the Ryder Cup.

McDowell ended any chances he had of playing in Rome after moving to the LIV Golf series but the 44-year-old, who sank the winning putt for Europe at Celtic Manor in 2010, will be cheering the side along from in front of his TV.

“I love the Ryder Cup,” McDowell told Golf Digest. “It is special to me. And it always will be. I’m very much trying to put the small bit of bitterness I feel to the side. It’s not bitterness towards anyone. It’s bitterness that I am not part of the ecosystem. But I’m trying not to let that get in the way of what my true feelings are.

“I’ve had some of the greatest experiences of my life with my Ryder Cup team-mates. And I enjoyed my two vice-captaincies. But this year it’s a little bittersweet for me. I just have to remember how cool it all is.”


Sergio Garcia is the only LIV player worthy of “making the 12″ this year, in McDowell’s estimation. McDowell himself hasn’t finished a tournament in the top 10.

“Maybe Paul Casey, if he had been fully fit. Myself, Lee [Westwood] and Ian [Poulter] haven’t played well enough,” he said.

“The schedule we’ve played hasn’t helped either. Henrik [Stenson] is still a really good player. But would any of us been in the 12? I don’t think so. Maybe a pick if the world was a different place, but certainly not me. I wouldn’t be close. I’d love to have been part of the vice-captain squad and help Luke [Donald] out. But it is what it is. I’m accepting of where we are in the world right now.”

Garcia said multiple times he wanted to find a way on the team and this week admitted he tried directly to work his way on the roster through talks with the DP World Tour. Poulter has been salty about the Ryder Cup scenario and Stenson, who was originally named as captain and was a member of three winning Ryder Cup teams, said he’s hopeful a middle ground can be found for LIV Golf players rejoining Team Europe as Brooks Koepka was welcomed to Team USA.

“If the are some things to be said and spoken about, I feel like there will be a better time and place out of respect for the team and the Ryder Cup itself. We will let that play out,” Stenson told Sports Illustrated this week.

McDowell would also welcome a chance to take swings for Team Europe again. This week, he'll settle for waking in the middle of the night to watch every shot as a fan.

“It’s been something I’ve thought about,” McDowell said. “And it’s an interesting argument. Do I bury my head in the sand and wait for it all to be over and not say anything? Or do I be supportive? There are no sour grapes on my end. I understand why I’m not involved. I was texting with [European vice-captain] Edoardo Molinari the other day, telling him how much I wish I could be in Rome. I genuinely feel that.”