'We're on different sides now' – McGinley 'heartbroken' at seeing Ryder Cup colleagues join LIV Golf

·2-min read

Paul McGinley says it "breaks my heart" to see a number of his close friends and former Ryder Cup team-mates join the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Golf has been divided over the past six months by the arrival of the Saudi-backed breakaway, which has seen a number of high-profile names defect from the PGA Tour.

Six more players were announced by LIV Golf this week, including reigning Open champion Cameron Smith, ahead of the series' latest big-money event in Boston.

The PGA Tour has banned those competing in LIV Golf from taking part in any of their competitions, though that is subject to another legal challenge.

The DP World Tour was unsuccessful in doing so, meanwhile, and 18 LIV players will compete in the PGA Championship at Wentworth next week.

That includes the likes of Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, each of whom McGinley has previously teamed up with for Ryder Cup duty.

McGinley finds the rift difficult to accept and claims that no player on the DP World Tour wants the LIV golfers involved at Wentworth.

"It breaks my heart because I have an emotional connection with every one of those players," he told The Sunday Times.

"I will see Poulter and I'll shake his hand at Wentworth, the same with Westwood and all of those guys that I shared team rooms with. That bond will never be broken.

"But we're definitely on different sides now. And it's really sad that it has come to this. Every one of those players knew the consequences when they signed with LIV.

"They also knew there was the potential for the Ryder Cup to be collateral damage in all of this. They still think they can play in the Ryder Cup.

"Who knows what's going to happen in six months' time? I think, at this stage, it's highly unlikely that any of them will be involved in the Ryder Cup again.

"If this is how it pans out, it won't be because of [DP World Tour chief executive] Keith Pelley or the board say so.

"It's because our members, the players who have remained loyal to our tour, don't want the LIV guys anywhere near the Ryder Cup.

"The feeling is that you cannot play [for] both sides. Mo Salah doesn't get to play for Liverpool one week and Real Madrid the next. LIV is a rival tour."