Golf: Duval in threat to boycott Ryder Cup

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DAVID DUVAL has hinted that leading American players may boycott September's Ryder Cup unless they are paid for competing against Mark James' European side.

The world No 2, who pulled no punches in his criticism of the way Carnoustie was set up for the Open Championship earlier this month, said that "anything up to six or eight" players - including Tiger Woods - were considering the unprecedented action. Duval says they believe they should be compensated for playing in a competition which makes a profit of between pounds 12.6-pounds 20m.

His views are in direction opposition to those of European captain James and leading player Colin Montgomerie, who have both previously come out against it. Speaking to the American Golf Digest magazine, Duval said: "Without the players they are not going to have the Ryder Cup."

Woods, the world No 1, also spoke about the pay-to-play proposals at the Open, saying he thought the players ought to be paid, even if it was only for attending all the functions. Duval did not hold back with his views, saying, "The whole thing has become a little bit overcooked, but it's probably going to stay that way until the players choose not to play."

And, after outlining the players' commitments to major golf tournaments, Duval added: "That's 10 big events and they're basically saying to a guy like Tiger that for the next 10 or 20 years he will play in either a Ryder or President's Cup every autumn. And with no choice. Imagine the outcry if Tiger Woods chose not to play in the Ryder Cup. Or David Duval. And I think that's probably what will happen."

Duval, who has never previously qualified for a Ryder Cup team, was derisory about the current deal, saying, "What are we going to receive for the Ryder Cup in Boston in September? A stipend for expenses of $5,000 each. I just might take the money and retire."

And when it was put to him that he was playing for the "flag", rather than the money, he said: "Fine, but we are professionals."

In the English Amateur championship at St Mellion, the Walker Cup player Gary Wolstenholme seems destined never to emulate his late father Guy by winning the title. He crashed out in the second round, losing 2 & 1 to Surrey teenager Jonathan Evans. Wolstenholme, the sixth seed to fall so far, went out in the first round a year ago and has a poor record in this event.