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Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 18:19 UK

Players are 'slaves' at Ryder Cup

Hunter Mahan
Mahan said the Ryder Cup has become an enjoyment-free zone

One of America's most promising young players may have talked himself out of a Ryder Cup place after saying players are "slaves" for the tournament week.

Hunter Mahan, 26, is 12th in the US points table with just two weeks left in their qualifying race, with the top eight earning automatic team spots.

"You've got dinners every night - not little dinners, massive ones," he said.

"As players, that's the last thing we want. We want to prepare ourselves. You're just a slave that week."

The PGA of America couldn't care less about winning it, honestly

Hunter Mahan on the Ryder Cup
With Tiger Woods ruled out of contention because of injury, the ninth-ranked player will be included, and captain Paul Azinger has four wild cards at his disposal.

Azinger has spoken of his desire to have a team of players who actually want to be there when the tournament takes place at Lexington in September.

But Mahan said he got the impression it was just an enjoyment-free imposition on players, and he could foresee the day when players decided to boycott the event.

"From what I've heard the whole week is extremely long," he told Golf magazine.

"From what I've heard the Ryder Cup isn't fun. The fun is sucked right out of it. That's the word I hear a lot."

"At some point the players might say, 'You know what - we're not doing this anymore, because this is ridiculous'.


"Don't be surprised if it (a refusal to play) happens. It's just not a fun week like it should be. Is it an honour to play? Yes, it is. But (the players') time is valuable. This is a business.

"I just feel like the players don't have much control over it and I don't think they like that. I wouldn't like that.

"I think Europe really, really takes it seriously. I think the US does too, but not like Europe.

"For one, every place they hold a Ryder Cup in Europe is a place on the European Tour schedule. That's really smart because right away they have an advantage.

"The PGA of America could care less about winning it, honestly.

"They pick a site where they're going to have the Senior PGA, the PGA and the Ryder Cup, which means less money they have to pay out to get more money."

see also
European Ryder Cup rankings
28 Jul 08 |  Golf

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