BOSTON, Mass – Now that the 44th Ryder Cup Matches are over, what happens in September 2025 at Beth Page Black if players refuse to play because they want to be paid?
The PGA of America with “Mr. Pretty Boy” – Seth Waugh – at the helm has a problem. It’s no secret the organization’s net profit from the Ryder Cup exhibition matches exceeds $50 million. They keep all the money, paying the player’s favorite charity a token disbursement of $200,000 each.
Of course, this revolt started at the ’99 Ryder Cup in Brookline when Tiger, Phil, Mark O’Meara, David Duval, Justin Leonard and the boys demanded to be paid something. Up until then the players got zero income.
So, for all you rah-rah Ryder Cup fans, please tell me what other professional sport takes its best players at the top of their game and owns them for a week? The PGA of America is shameless when it claims the Ryder Cup is about playing for your country, when all they’ve done if toss a U.S. flag over the trophy then present a golf exhibition with gross income of about $75 million. Do I repeat myself by saying they keep all the money (although some shared with European Tour) and they tell players where to go, where to play, what to eat, where to eat, when to eat, what to wear, when to talk, when to walk and just about 24/7 dictatorship. And, while I’m on a rant – is Foursomes really golf?
Most of America’s best golfer’s, since LIV Golf players were exiled, traveled to Rome to play the Europeans at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club and got spanked 16 1/2 to 11 1/2. It was a lackadaisical showing since they were completely dominated by the European team. It’s obvious the Cup means more to Europe than U.S.
For three days the event was televised from Rome starting at 2 a.m. so it’s likely no one watched the matches live. The TV coverage was awful, filled with non-stop commercials, and Paul Azinger has no business being called an analyst, but rather a cheerleader, since he played on Team USA and also captained the 2008 squad.
It must have been agony for Azinger and NBC golf mouthpiece Dan Hicks to watch the U.S. get buried in almost every match all three days. So what if the U.S. has the No. 1 player in the world? Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg sliced and diced Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka by a score of 7 & 6.
How many times did Zinger say “this shot is huge.” He did not offer one criticism of the U.S. team. Give me a break! Does he think the golf viewing audience is naive?
While I’m on my every-two-year-rant about the Ryder Cup, let’s look at the facts: eight players from so-called Team Europe plus team captain Luke Donald all live full-time in the United States. And, the U.S. is playing against a continent not just one country, so shouldn’t they be expected to lose most of the time.
Since most of the both Ryder Cup teams live in the ‘Sunshine State‘ why not relabel the event as the ‘Florida Cup?‘ Is it time to say siyonara to Foursomes? No one plays foursomes so how the heck did that style golf ever get on the big stage?
Now that the matches have ended the players gripes are starting to flow, not just from the players, but in particular Xander Schauffele’s father. He is quoted in an interview saying Xander was almost booted off the team because he refused to sign the binding PGA of America contract. It involved (surprise) money, and Netflix rights and PGA Tour compensation and other details that they try to hide from the gullible golf media and public.
Finally, why does the mainstream golf media make such a big deal over the Ryder Cup? They present a 17-inch gold trophy and throw a U.S. flag over it and claim they are playing for country. I just don’t buy it, never have. Unless they start spreading the wealth around I see the event as a lucrative fundraiser for the PGA of America.
One thing I concede about this phony “Ryder Cup” is that watching the Sunday singles matches is exciting and fun, regardless of the team scoreboard. After patiently tolerating the commercials and dreaded TV interviews, the Ryder Cup needs an enema. It should start with an announcement from Seth Waugh that each player will be paid $500K each for earning their way onto the team.
One last takeaway. If you think this Ryder Cup left a good taste in viewer’s minds, you’d be wrong. You had a U.S. caddy interrupting Rory McIlroy on the 18th green on Saturday. Then Golf Channel repeatedly showed a visibly agitated McIlroy screaming in the player parking area after the match. Where’s the decorum from both sides?
I’ve said it before and will say it again. Biannually, the Ryder Cup is always filled with whine! Maybe that’s a reason to like.
On the web: RyderCup.com