Golf: Ryder Cup `boycott' explained by Duval

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The Independent Online
THIS WEEK'S Ryder Cup controversy has been overblown, but a growing number of players are saying changes will have to be made.

It started when Golf World published extracts from an interview with David Duval in which he questioned why Ryder Cup participants were not being renumerated, or at the very least given a sum to donate to charity.

This led to the sensational headline: "Golf's $63 million question: Will America's best golfers boycott the Ryder Cup?" The problem was that Duval never used the word "boycott" a point he was keen to reinforce when asked to expand on his comments at the Greater Hartford Open.

Tom Kite, the 1997 American captain, believes that eventually the PGA of America, which runs the Ryder Cup, will give a sum to each player to donate to charity, as is done at the Presidents Cup.

Kite said: "The PGA does an awful lot of stuff but it doesn't come directly through the player. If they could give X amount to Justin Leonard to take back to Dallas, then it's a different deal. Ultimately, that's what I think it will come to. In this day and age they're probably going to have to compensate the players some way."

Davis Love pointed out that the players already indirectly benefit from the Ryder Cup. Love said that the PGA gives a percentage of the profits to the PGA Tour, which puts it into tournament purses and the players' retirement plans.

"There's not one player out here who hasn't been helped by the PGA of America," Love said. "It's very selfish for a guy to say `what's the PGA of America done for me?' Our whole team is on the same page now. The air's been cleared and we're ready to go. It's a dead issue. We're not going to get paid."