Vox Pop: Should golfers be paid for their services in the Ryder Cup?

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The Independent Online


I have always considered the Ryder Cup to be a special event, but then new people come along who probably don't know what has gone on before them and they are unaware of the traditions of this great contest. They have their own ideas about it and I suppose they are entitled to them. Even though I live in America, I'm aware of what's going on on both sides of the Atlantic because I keep in touch with the tours. I'm travelling back and forth all the time so I believe I'm equally entitled to my view.



Ryder Cup appearance money? Don't get me into that. The Ryder Cup is a very special event - a unique tournament - and we definitely don't need to be paid to play in it. It would lose its whole feel. It's a fantastic contest between two highly motivated teams and the honour of being able to take part should be inspiration enough. The prospect of being paid certainly wouldn't make me try any harder or play any better, and I don't believe it would have that effect on any other player either.



It started out as a friendly match, but it's not any more. You should go out, play hard, play the course, play your opponent and try to win, and be able to shake hands afterwards. I can't honestly say I had a great time at Valderrama, and I felt it was wrong that we were made to attend a succession of functions by the PGA, who weren't even paying us to be there. In no other major event are the main participants expected to provide their services for free and I don't see why the Ryder Cup should be an exception.



I've played in the Ryder Cup three times and never been paid. Life at a Ryder Cup is certainly exhausting - it feels like three majors in one week. If there's some money available then I suppose I would accept it, but it wouldn't make me play better. It's the biggest event in golf and you try your hardest for everyone on the team, not just yourself. We are professionals and this is a week in which we don't get paid, but it's no holiday. But if you do get in the team then it's because you've already made a lot of money.



I have a passion for the Ryder Cup and since 1985 it has jumped in leaps and bounds in prestige. Behind the majors, it's the premier golf event. It's a chance to play with 11 other guys and pull for someone else. There's been a lot of talk about how much the PGA of America make out of it. With the creation of the President's Cup, about eight of us are going to be on both teams so it's getting like the Davis Cup. If any of us chose to spend time with our family that week we'd be absolutely hung.



No, I don't. I'm a bit of a traditionalist and it's all got out of perspective. We live in an age when everyone expects to get paid for everything they do, but I believe playing for your country should be beyond that. I can understand the argument that if there is any profit from the Ryder Cup it should go to the players not the PGA. My view is that the money should be channelled into junior golf worldwide to encourage the game's development and perhaps pave the way for the future.