Former European Ryder Cup stalwart Paul Casey won’t be involved in this year’s match in Rome largely because he jumped to LIV Golf, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care anymore about the competition that he played in five times.
Speaking to Golf Digest’s John Huggan recently, Casey opened up on his feelings about this year’s Ryder Cup, which will be held in Rome from Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The entire article is worth your time, but here are some highlights, starting with touting Padraig Harrington as the best captain he played under despite Harrington’s team suffering a 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits two years ago:
“I’ll tell you how good a captain Padraig was,” Casey said. “The caddies bought him a watch. They all got together, bought him a Rolex and brought him to tears when they presented it to him in Dubai, a few weeks after the matches. That said so much. Caddies normally don’t like dipping their hands in their pockets for players. But it was actually the flip side of what was going to happen if we won. Padraig was going to buy every caddie a watch. He was so highly respected.”
Casey concedes some of the Euro stars of the past might not have qualified for the team this year even if LIV players were eligible, but their absences will be missed in other ways.
“I would still have [Ian Poulter] be involved. That’s what is going to be missing in Rome, guys like Poulter and [Lee] Westwood in the locker room. I’ve been in those locker rooms. The pundits and the commentators have not.”
Casey hopes as the divisiveness in golf is repaired, the Euro LIV players can be brought back into the fold.
“The Ryder Cup is so valuable in terms of what it gives to golf in Europe, not just monetarily. We don’t want that to be damaged any more than it has been already. I don’t watch a lot of golf outside of the majors. But I will certainly watch the Ryder Cup. And I might just have a piece of Euro team clothing on under my top. I won’t have the commentary on though,” he said with a laugh.
Casey said he has no regrets about his move to LIV.
“Moving to LIV has changed me for the better as a person” he says. “I was probably in a spiral before, and not in a good way. There are so many things people don’t necessarily want to hear from pro golfers. Whatever the sport. But I was trying to play multiple tours. Then there were team matches and the Olympics and all the rest of it. It was taking its toll. Look, I still want to do what I do. But something had to give. I just don’t want to do it all as often.”
The whole story can be read here.