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Donald bemoans loss of LIV players for Ryder Cup

Luke Donald Luke Donald - The Canadian Press

Europe captain Luke Donald calls it a "shame" that the likes of Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood won't be available for selection for his Ryder Cup team following the trio's resignation from the DP World Tour on Wednesday.

The three players, along with Richard Bland, resigned from Europe's top golf circuit on Wednesday after being sanctioned for joining LIV Golf in 2022. Their resignations make them ineligible to play in this fall's Ryder Cup in Rome.

"It's sad we've got to this point, but this was always a possibility," Donald said to BBC Sport. "I played with all three and they've been stalwarts of, and given a lot to, both the Ryder Cup and European Tour."

Donald became captain also because of a LIV defection with Henrik Stensson removed from his post last summer.

All three of Garcia, Poulter and Westwood were key contributors to past teams with Garcia holding Europe's record for most points at a Ryder Cup.

"They've got a lot of history when it comes to the Ryder Cup," Donald said. "Ultimately, this is their choice and I wish them well. They feel like this was the best choice for them and now I've got choices to make that are best for me."

In a statement. the DP World Tour insisted that those sanctioned were responsible for their own actions.

“Their resignations, however, along with the sanctions imposed upon them, are a consequence of their own choices,” the tour said in a statement. “As we have consistently maintained throughout the past year, the tour has a responsibility to its entire membership to administer the member regulations which each player signs up to. These regulations are in place to protect the collective interests of all DP World Tour members.”

LIV Golf's next tournament is set for May 12 to 14 at the Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, OK.