Jon Rahm doesn't care which tour players compete on when it comes to the Ryder Cup. He wants the best players from Europe and the United States going toe-to-toe in what he calls a "beautiful" event.
The Europeans were routed two years ago at Whistling Straits, but Rahm teamed with Spanish countryman Sergio Garcia to earn three of their team's nine points. That partnership won't be rekindled in Italy this year, with Team Europe captain Luke Donald of England telling Garcia he will not be considered.
Garcia left for LIV Golf last year and recently resigned from the DP World Tour along with Englishmen Richard Bland, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood and Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who was removed as Europe's Ryder Cup captain when he joined the Saudi-backed league.
"I'm going to miss him," Rahm said of Garcia on Tuesday ahead of the Memorial Tournament. "We had a great partnership at Whistling Straits. ... So it's a little sad to me that politics have gotten in the way of such a beautiful event. It's the best Europeans against the best Americans, period. And whatever is going on, who is playing LIV and who is not playing LIV to me shouldn't matter."
Team USA captain Zach Johnson said last week that it would be "irresponsible" for him to talk about LIV players making his team yet as Brooks Koepka went on to win the PGA Championship -- vaulting him to second in the United States' Ryder Cup standings.
The U.S. will attempt win on European soil for the first time since 1993, and Rahm believes Garcia, Europe's all-time leading Ryder Cup points scorer, should be playing in Rome come September.
Fellow Spaniards Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal scored 12 points while being paired together a record 15 times, and Rahm envisioned playing at least one more Ryder Cup with Garcia, who owns a record 28.5 career points for Europe.
Rahm is second in the Official World Golf Ranking. The next Spaniard is Pablo Larrazabal at No. 53, followed by Adrian Otaegui at No. 81 and Adri Arnaus at No. 92. Garcia has tumbled to No. 218 as LIV continues to wait for the outcome of its application to earn OWGR points for its events.
"A Spanish duo in the Ryder Cup I think to me is embedded into the roots of the Ryder Cup," Rahm said. "... It's whoever is best suited to represent the European side. And I have a hard time to believe that the best player Europe has ever had, the most successful player Europe has had on the Ryder Cup isn't fit to be on the team.
"It's unfortunate. I will miss him. But with that said I want to be hopeful, there's a couple of Spanish guys playing really good right now, so hopefully they can join me on the team."
--Field Level Media