ROME (ITALY), 27 Sep. (PA Media/dpa/EP) –

The Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy defended this Wednesday that the Spanish Sergio García, and the British Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, regulars in a Ryder Cup for which they are now ineligible for joining the Saudi LIV circuit, will “miss them more” than the European team to them.

“It’s a little strange not having them around. But I think this week, more than any other, they’re going to notice that they’re not here, and I think they’re going to miss being here more than we miss them,” he said of the three players. to the media from Rome, ahead of the start of the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club this Friday.

The trio of European players were regulars at the event for the past two decades, but became ineligible after joining the Saudi-powered professional circuit. Garcia, the all-time leading Ryder Cup points scorer, attempted to return to the prestigious competition without success, although McIlroy reiterated that they will not think about his absence.

“This week they realized that the decision they made has prevented them from being part, and that is hard. The panorama in golf is increasingly changing and dynamic, and we will see what happens and if they will be part of it in the future,” said the Northern Irishman.

However, next year’s merger of LIV Golf with the PGA Tour could offer a way back for this ‘mythical’ trio of golfers in the Ryder Cup.

Specifically, for McIlroy it will be his seventh participation in this tournament, so he will be considered Europe’s leader on and off the field. Although, the world number two wants the rest of the team to treat him like one of their own. “I’m not here to shout and make speeches. I told all the boys that I don’t want anyone to admire me. In our team there are no hierarchies,” he insisted.