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Luke Donald confident in Jon Rahm's Ryder Cup readiness despite poor major form

Europe's Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald insists he has no concerns about Jon Rahm's poor major championship form this season.

Rahm was a distant 45th in the defence of his Masters title in April and admitted he was left with a "sour feeling" at being relegated to an also-ran at Augusta National.

The two-time major winner then missed the cut in the US PGA Championship, although he did fight back from four over par after six holes to only come up one shot shy.

"Jon's record speaks for itself and what he's done," Donald said after carding a final round of 71 at Valhalla to finish the week two under par.

"His results on LIV certainly haven't been terrible, a lot of top 10s. I know he hasn't won, but I'm not too concerned right now. Form is more important to me leading up to a Ryder Cup, not 15, 16 months out.

"I would guess if I was in his situation it's just a change. It's unusual and golfers are very much creatures of habit.

"When you get out of your usual routine, you're used to four rounds and go to three, the mentality's a bit different and you have to push a little bit more because you have one less round to do it.

"I haven't really talked to Jon about that but that's what I'm guessing, it is taking him some time to adjust to a new tour with different criteria I suppose for what you need to do to be successful."

Rahm and LIV team-mate Tyrrell Hatton remain eligible for the Ryder Cup as long as they maintain their DP World Tour membership by playing four events a season and pay any fines accrued for competing in LIV events without the required releases.

"I had some chats this week, just trying to gather information from them what their thoughts are," Donald added.

"Jon said in his presser he wants to be committed to it so that seems the path forward for them, if they follow the rules of the DP World Tour they are still eligible and they can still play.

"It hasn't really changed since last year. There were a couple of guys on LIV that did pay their fines last year that were eligible and I kept my eye on them but they just weren't playing well enough."

Donald replaced Henrik Stenson as 2023 Ryder Cup captain when the Swede moved to LIV, but has been handed almost two years to prepare for Europe's title defence at Bethpage after being swiftly reappointed in the wake of a commanding victory in Rome.

In contrast, the United States have yet to name a captain, with favourite Tiger Woods saying on Tuesday his role in negotiations to end golf's civil war could prevent him from taking on the role.

"We feel like we're on track and not really concerned what the US are doing at the moment," Donald, who shot 70 on a recent scouting mission to Bethpage, said.

"I know Tiger's very busy with everything going on. I played with Patrick (Cantlay) today and he said it's been a lot. I think that can be somewhat distracting and maybe his (Woods') focus right now is a little bit more on that.

"Whenever it's announced I'm looking forward to going up against whoever it is. If it's Tiger, great, if it's someone else it's no problem either."

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