Skip to main content

Padraig Harrington: Still friends with LIV guys; no second Ryder Cup captaincy

Getty Images

Some on site described the scene as tense: Warming up on the range Monday at Adare Manor, which will host a Ryder Cup in five years, were a collection of players, both LIV and non-LIV, as well as PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

In total, there were 10 guys who have joined the Saudi-backed rival league teeing it up in the two-day JP McManus Pro-Am – Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell, Pat Perez, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Bernd Wiesberger.

But in the eyes of at least one non-LIV player, the environment wasn’t nearly as awkward.

“Honestly, all these guys are my friends, 100%,” said Padraig Harrington, who has captained and played Ryder Cups with several of the PGA Tour/DPWT defectors.

Monday Scramble: What we're learning about LIV

J.T. Poston goes wire to wire at the John Deere, the second LIV event generates more discussion and more in this week's holiday edition.

Harrington then went on to explain: “Being here is a little bit like Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving for your family. … We'll Americanize it: You could be a Republican, they could be a Democrat, but you're friends at that particular time, and maybe politics isn't mentioned at the dinner table. We are here for two days, and it's great to see. You know, golf is getting a bit of a hard time at the moment. It's great to see, look what we can do with golf. Look at the money that's raised here. Look at the people that are going to enjoy this weekend. It's great to see what golf can really do in a situation like this.”

Regarding the Ryder Cup, where there are still several questions about if LIV players on the European side would be permitted to play or captain, Harrington had little answers. Poulter, Westwood, McDowell and Kaymer are all Ryder Cup veterans and future captain considerations, and even next year’s captain, Henrik Stenson, has been rumored as to joining LIV.

One thing that Harrington is confident about is he will not throw his hat back into the captain ring after leading the Europeans last year at Whistling Straits.

“I think there's plenty of people who have got a future in being Ryder Cup captain, and I think everybody should be given that chance,” Harrington said. “I had my chance. As much as I loved the experience of being Ryder Cup captain, and I really did, it was a tough call, and I don't see myself going back into that arena again. It's just the nature of the business. It's a one-and-done, and it's a bigger event than the individual.

“So, there's loads of worthy captains. Whatever happens, there's plenty of people out there who will do the job justice.”