Jon Rahm fears the Ryder Cup could become an unintended casualty in the ongoing struggle for supremacy in elite golf.
The PGA Tour has been hit by a raft of defections to the LIV Series – with those not resigning their memberships being suspended.
However, that means the group of players in question are uneligible to play in the biennial clash between Europe and the US.
Among those who, as it stands, are banned from next year’s match are Europe’s record point-scorer Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson.
Former world No.1 Rahm refused to condemn those who have made the switch – but admitted he fears the Ryder Cup could be diminished.
“I think the one thing that keeps coming to me out of all this and what can happen, I hope the Ryder Cup doesn’t suffer,” he said.
“I think the Ryder Cup is the biggest attraction the game of golf has to bring new people in, and I have such a good time with him on the golf course and on the previous one in Paris.
“I hope we don’t lose the essence and the aspect that the Ryder Cup is. That’s one of my biggest concerns, to be honest.
“It’s an event we all play for free, and it’s one of our favourite weeks, win or lose. I think that says a lot about the game and where I wish it would be at.”
Asked about his specific concerns, Rahm added: “Well, are they going to be able to play Ryder Cup or not, the players that went?
“In my mind, Sergio, even if he is not breaking 90, he’s a no-brainer pick, right? So what’s going to happen?
“You have quite a few young Americans. Bryson went, somebody that’s probably going to be on the team in the future. Phil’s captaincy is probably in question now, where the PGA stands on all of this.
“We don’t know the European side of things yet. I have no idea what’s going on or what’s going on with the European Tour.
“In a worst-case scenario, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”