ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Paul Lawrie expressed his disappointment on Wednesday that eight of his Ryder Cup teammates have snubbed next week's Seve Trophy in France.
Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter won't be playing for Britain and Ireland despite being the team's six leading qualifiers. Sergio Garcia and Peter Hansen have declined places in the Continental Europe team.
The Seve Trophy, which is played in non-Ryder Cup years, is named after the late Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros, who died in 2011 from complications of a cancerous brain tumor. "I think it's extremely disappointing that a lot of the guys are not playing," Lawrie said. "I'm not having a go at them, but I just think certainly with Seve's name attached to it and the idea behind the tournament, it's kind of the equivalent of the Presidents Cup for the American boys.
"So for many of our boys not to want to play for an event that not only carry's Seve's name, but you get handsomely paid to play in it as well, I don't understand it. It's disappointing for everyone involved in it; for the (European) Tour, who have done a great job putting it on, and for Seve and his family. It's Seve's name. I mean, my God, most of us are out there playing because of what Seve did years ago."
Henrik Stenson, who topped the list of qualifiers for Continental Europe after winning the FedEx Cup, also has declined to play at the Saint-Nom-la-Breteche course outside Paris. "I would walk to Paris to play on the team next week, and I would have done whatever it would have taken to play on that team next week," Lawrie added.
Ryder Cup-winning captains Jose Maria Olazabal (Europe) and Sam Torrance (Britain and Ireland) will take charge of the teams for the Oct. 3-6 event. Britain and Ireland is the reigning champion.