Luke Donald says “it’s a shame” that Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia are ineligible for the Ryder Cup after resigning from the DP World Tour.
They quit the European circuit after being sanctioned for breaking rules when joining breakaway tour LIV Golf.
“It’s sad we’ve got to this point but this was always a possibility,” Europe captain Donald told 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 took over as captain last summer after Henrik Stenson was sacked for joining the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV circuit.
“I have a little more clarity now,” added the 45-year-old Englishman, who played in four Ryder Cups from 2004 until 2012 and was on the winning side on each occasion.
“I know they’re not an option to play in, or be any part of my team.”
Garcia is Europe’s all-time record points scorer in the biennial contest against the United States, while Westwood played in a record 11 matches for Europe and Poulter was unbeaten in all seven of his singles matches.
“It is a shame,” continued Donald. “They’ve got a lot of history when it comes to the Ryder Cup.
“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.”
Westwood critical of ‘strategic alliance’
Meanwhile, Westwood has accused the DP World Tour of being “fully in bed” with the PGA Tour, adding that the European-based circuit was now like a “feeder” to the more dominant American set-up.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the 50-year-old Englishman said: “I’ve been a dual member of the European Tour and PGA Tour, but always said I was a European Tour member first and foremost and that I had fears about the US circuit basically being bullies and doing everything it could to secure global dominance.
“But now, in my opinion, the European Tour has jumped fully in bed with the PGA Tour and even though Keith [Pelley, the chief executive] says he hates to hear it, it is now a feeder tour for the PGA Tour.
“The top 10 players on the tour, not already exempt this year, have a pathway to the PGA Tour, that’s giving our talent away. That was never the tour’s policy before this ‘strategic alliance’.
“Sorry, I don’t want to play under that sort of regime. I just didn’t like the thought of the tour continuously hitting us with more fines and bans that would have been hanging over me.
“I’ve paid my [£100,000] fine out of respect for the arbitration panel and have then taken the decisions out of the tour’s hands. I honestly want to move on.”
European players must be members of the DP World Tour to be eligible to play in the Ryder Cup.
In a statement, the DP World Tour confirmed the resignations saying the players had been “sanctioned for serious breaches of the tour’s conflicting tournament regulations”.
The players were hit with £100,000 fines for playing in LIV’s opening tournament at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire last June. They lost an appeal held by the arbitration service Sport Resolutions and had until 3 May to pay their fines.
The DP World Tour said it would provide a further update on the 14 other sanctioned LIV players later on Thursday.
Donald added: “There are generational shifts throughout the history of the Ryder Cup and maybe this is one.
“We certainly have plenty of great players to look at and pick from and I’m certainly excited about how everyone has played this year so far.
“There’s great momentum with European golf, we’ve already had seven winners in the US [this season] and a bunch of people who haven’t played in the Ryder Cup have played great this year on the DP World Tour so I’m excited about the make-up of this team.”
Donald is playing at this week’s Italian Open at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, near Rome, which will host the Ryder Cup later this year.
He hit a three-over 74 in Thursday’s opening round and said he was happy with how the course was looking with the Ryder Cup starting on 29 September.
“It’s shaping up well, certainly it’s playing more difficult this year than last year,” he added.
“The fairways give you enough room but if you miss them, the rough is pretty thick and it’s tough to control the ball from there.
“There’s something about this rough, it’s a thick blade of grass and the club doesn’t go through it like you’d expect.”