The trio of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter – pictured with Rory McIlroy after the 2014 win – have played in 28 Ryder Cups between them
Rory McIlroy believes the absence of LIV trio Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter benefited Europe in their Ryder Cup victory over the USA.
Garcia, Westwood and Poulter were ineligible for the event after resigning from the DP World Tour.
“It’s a new era – and it’s a pretty good one,” said McIlroy.
“Not having those big personalities in the team room let other guys have the chance to flourish and shine: Viktor (Hovland), Jon (Rahm), myself.”
McIlroy won four points – his best total in the Ryder Cup – while Hovland and Rahm also impressed as Europe beat the Americans 16½-11½ in Rome.
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Garcia, Westwood and Poulter resigned from the DP World Tour after joining the Saudi-backed LIV circuit.
They were key players in the Ryder Cup with Garcia’s return of 28½ from 10 appearances making him Europe’s record points scorer while Westwood earned 24 points and Poulter was nicknamed ‘The Postman’ as he always delivered at the event.
Europe’s Shane Lowry celebrates with the Ryder Cup on Sunday alongside Rory McIlroy (right)
“They’ve had unbelievable Ryder Cup careers and they’ve made their choices, and they’ve done what they’ve done and no one can take away the impact they’ve had for the European team over the years,” added four-time major winner McIlroy.
“There wasn’t a ton of space taken up in that room by some of the other big personalities, and I think that just let the rest of the team just sort of flourish.”
Fellow Irish player Shane Lowry agreed that Europe are entering a new era as they look forward to defending the Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black in New York in 2025.
“I think so and I am not even talking about the 12 players who are here. I am talking about Rasmus Hojgaard, Vincent Norrman and Adrian Meronk,” said Lowry, who earned 1½ points for Europe in Rome.
“Look at all the young players in Europe coming up, we have a great foundation now for the future and I think it is a great chance to look forward.”