AKRON, Ohio (AP) — David Duval criticized the Ryder Cup largesse in 1999 by saying the event was “overcooked,” and he led a campaign for players to have more input on what to do with all the money generated for the PGA of America.
Nine years later, Hunter Mahan also wonders whether so much money has made the Ryder Cup more work than fun.
“The PGA of America could care less about winning it, honestly,” Mahan said in an interview with Golf Magazine. “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. And from what I’ve heard, the whole week is extremely long. You’ve got dinners every night – not little dinners, but huge, massive dinners. I know, as players, that’s the last thing we want to do. We want to prepare ourselves.”
Mahan has never played in a Ryder Cup and is 11th in the standings going into the final two weeks of qualifying. He said Tuesday that he offered his opinions based purely on what he had heard other players talk about.
In the magazine interview, he referred to the Ryder Cup as a “moneymaker like no other.”
Earlier this week, the PGA of America sent out a reminder that while the Ryder Cup has been sold out for nearly a year, local and regional residents can still be part of the official festivities in Louisville during the week of Sept. 16-21. It said the 37th Ryder Cup Gala will be held at The Kentucky Center, an elegant black-tie affair that occurs “only once every four years in the United States.”
“This one-of-a-kind evening includes dinner in the majestic Ryder Cup Gala Pavilion, an official presentation of the United States and European Ryder Cup Teams, interviews of both Ryder Cup Captains, world-class entertainment, and an after-party featuring cocktails, desserts and dancing,” the announcement said.
Tickets cost $400 for the entertainment only and $850 when dinner is included.
MEDIA SAVVY Someone asked Jim Furyk last week at the Canadian Open if he found it refreshing to see golf stories about someone other than Tiger Woods.
“You actually assume that I read,” Furyk said to laughter.
Only he wasn’t kidding.
Furyk said he goes out of his way to avoid newspaper coverage at golf tournaments because there is nothing to gain.
“If something positive is written about you, I guess you can either ignore it or your head can get big,” he said. “If something is negative about you, which happens quite a bit, then that can just (tick) you off, and that’s not all that good.”
Furyk figures he knows the score and doesn’t need to read about what’s going on.
“I have a great relationship, in my opinion, with the media. I feel like I’ve been treated fairly,” Furyk said. “But I think you all would be surprised at how little I pay attention.”
But he does read. His favorite items are Q&As in a magazine.
“I love quotes because I like to see what guys had to say,” he said.
KIWI CHALLENGE Brandt Snedeker plans to get married Oct. 18, with part of his honeymoon at work in New Zealand.
Snedeker joins Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan and Adam Scott in the new “Kiwi Challenge” to be played Oct. 27-28 at Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers. The winner gets $1.5 million from a $2.6 million total, making it the second-largest payoff in the silly season behind the $2 million at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa.
It’s the second time this decade someone has tried to capitalize on the emerging youth in golf. Unlike the Tommy Bahama Challenge, which didn’t last long, this brings together four players in the top 50 who are willing to travel.
Mahan went to Wentworth last year for the World Match Play Championship, while Snedeker played last year in Australia.
“It’s hard for me to relay the feeling of how excited myself and my fiancee are to visit New Zealand,” Snedeker said. “We’re getting married right before the Kiwi Challenge, and this will be a honeymoon to remember.”
NBC Sports will televise the event Nov. 15-16.
EARLY RISER Pat Perez is starting his day about the same time it used to end.
Perez had a miserable experience at the British Open, opening with an 82 in the worst of weather and punctuating the round by criticizing himself, the weather and just about everything else at Royal Birkdale.
Lost in his outburst was that he was up at 3:30 a.m. every day to stay true to his new fitness routine with trainer Joey Diovisalvi. Even with a 6:41 a.m. tee time the first day, he didn’t miss his time in the gym.
“I just wanted to get in shape and play better,” Perez said. “Joey is intense. He’s tough, but he wants 110 percent from every workout.”
Perez figures he has been wasting his talent – a message has been preaching to John Daly – and at least wants to give himself a chance.
DUPLANTIS TRUST Jim Furyk is in the middle of four straight tournaments in three countries, but he still found time to play in a charity outing in Canada on Monday and serve as the host during a dinner on Tuesday.
The outing was for Steve DuPlantis, the Canadian caddie who was killed while crossing the street at the Buick Invitational in January. The idea was to raise money for a trust fund for DuPlantis’ daughter, Sierra.
“The reason I played on Monday was because it was the right thing to do and because I talked to the family and I told them I’d be there,” Furyk said. “We had a great time.”
Furyk said Royal Bank of Canada donated $50,000 to the trust.
DIVOTS Ten players in their 20s have won on the PGA Tour this year, with Chez Reavie the latest at the Canadian Open. … Friday is the deadline to apply for tickets to the U.S. Open next year at Bethpage Black. A random drawing will be held later in August. The U.S. Open has been a sellout the last 22 years. … Will MacKenzie withdrew from the Canadian Open to be with his wife, who gave birth to their first child. Maverick Noah MacKenzie was born Saturday evening, presumably with a snowboard attached to his feet. … Research out of Purdue University reveals that golfers who play well are more likely to see the hole as larger than those who play poorly. This breakthrough has been published in June edition of Psychonomic Bulletin and Review journal.
STAT OF THE WEEK Eighteen players have finished second behind Tiger Woods in the World Golf Championships.
FINAL WORD “It’s as quick as you’ll ever see, considering we’re not in Georgia with a lot of hills.” – Stuart Appleby, comparing the greens at Firestone with Augusta National.