Ryder Cup: European captain Luke Donald says next year’s tournament could “unite” golf

US captain Zach Johnson (left) and European captain Luke Donald are in Rome with the Ryder Cup

European captain Luke Donald says the Ryder Cup is “bigger than individual players” amid LIV Golf series crisis.

Since the launch of the Saudi Arabia-sponsored LIV series in June, the tensions have been high between it and the established PGA and European Tours.

Donald, who replaced Henrik Stenson after he was fired for joining LIV, says the Ryder Cup will “unite” golf.

“The history of the Ryder Cup is truly essential,” said England’s Donald.

The 2023 Ryder Cup takes place in Italy at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome from September 29 to October 1.

“The Ryder Cup is bigger than any one player and it’s a great way to bring everyone together,” Donald, 44, said.

“I think it will continue to do that. What’s great about the Ryder Cup is that it’s getting a new generation of players and fans interested in the game.”

Six-time winner Phil Mickelson, former world number one Dustin Johnson and Open champion Cameron Smith are among the players to join LIV. It offers a purse of $25m (£21m). in his events.

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy spoke last month of his relationship with some European teammates it has been “tense”. Joining LIV.

USA captain Zach Johnson has previously suggested that no LIV player would be eligible for a place in Italy next September.

Speaking on Tuesday, Johnson said Tiger Woods would play a role in his side’s bid to win in Europe for the first time in three decades, even if he is not one of the 12 players selected.

“I’ll tell you right now, I don’t know if he’s going to be here next year, but he’s going to be a part of this team in some way. Honestly, he already is,” Johnson said.

“I can’t say this; he loves the Ryder Cup. He wants to be involved in any way he can. He and I will be in constant communication.”