AVONDALE, La. – Will there be LIV golfers competing in the Ryder Cup in Italy in September? That’s still to be determined but if European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald has his way at least one LIV participant will be part of his inner circle and involved in a supplementary role.
Donald said he’d like to have brother, Christian, who caddies for Brendan Steele on the LIV Golf League, be part of the support staff when he leads Europe into battle against the Americans in an effort to reclaim the Cup.
Christian Donald once caddied for his brother but has been on the bag for Steele for several years. In February, shortly before the debut of the second season of LIV Golf, Steele, 40, was wooed to the Hy Flyers by his longtime friend and team captain Phil Mickelson.
When Donald was asked how he felt about his brother working for the breakaway Saudi-funded league, he said, “No feelings, really. For someone who is 51 and has two kids under four, it’s a great opportunity for him. He’s going to know his schedule, he’s going to have guaranteed money, he’s going to travel less and be around his family. In terms of that, it’s a bonus. You go where your player goes.”
He continued: “I’ll miss seeing him a little bit more. I’m sure he’ll be at the Ryder Cup, too.”
Asked if his brother would be helping him out in some way, Donald said, “I hope so. We haven’t had a formal discussion but he was my buggy (cart) driver the last two times I served as vice captain. There are different roles as a captain, but yeah, I think he’ll be there in some sort of role.”
Clearly, driving a cart is different than being captain – it’s apples to oranges – but still it seems odd that Christian Donald would be allowed to caddie at LIV and be involved in Team Europe “in some sort of role”. Henrik Stenson was stripped of his captaincy for signing with LIV and Donald was named his replacement. And what does it mean for Donald’s willingness to have LIV’s Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Thomas Pieters on his team? Only time will tell.