Lee Westwood believes LIV Golf players should not be 'threatened' with Ryder Cup ban

The fallout from the LIV Gold Invitational continues to rumble on, with Lee Westwood keen to protect his Ryder Cup eligibility.

Lee Westwood says his ability to qualify for the Ryder Cup should not be compromised by him joining the LIV Golf Invitational.

Westwood is one of a number of big names to have signed up for the controversial new Tour, which is funded by a Saudi state accused of human rights violations.

So far, the DP Tour has not threatened its members with the loss of their Ryder Cup eligibility, although it is one option being considered.

Westwood, though, does not believe there should even be any risk of that happening.

"Why should it be threatened?" Westwood, Europe's joint-record holder for appearances, told a press conference.

"I've been playing Ryder Cup golf since 1997 and the criteria has been to be a member of the European Tour (now the DP World Tour).

"I've been a member of the PGA Tour and still played four events on the European Tour, and why would the European Tour change their rules so dramatically because another tour doesn't like it or feels financially threatened?

"As long as you fulfil the criteria to be a European Tour member, then you should still have the opportunity to try and qualify for the Ryder Cup team."

Westwood's Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia, the competition's all-time leading point scorer, had a more pragmatic view.

Asked whether he thought there was a risk to his decision to sign up he said: "Yeah, I guess there was. You never knew how everyone was going to act.

Sergio Garcia Spain

"Obviously you were hoping that it wouldn't change. We still hope that it won't affect it.

"I hope that I still have the possibility, as I'm sure they do (his fellow hopefuls) too, to be a part of a few more Ryder Cup teams but that's not going to depend on us now. We'll just keep our fingers crossed."

The DP World Tour chose not to follow the example of the PGA Tour, which issued outright bans to all their events for LIV golfers, but Westwood still objected to the lesser punishment he received.

"I personally am disappointed with the European Tour's approach," he added.

"I've been a European Tour member for 29 years and for some of those years I have also been a member of the PGA tour and as long as I've played my four events the European Tour haven't had a problem with me playing anywhere else and now it seems to be a problem.

"As far as fines and sanctions, I'm disappointed."

READ MORE: Three players added for the second LIV Golf event, including amateur world number 2

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