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Hunter Mahan slates Ryder Cup format

Thomas Rooney - Saturday 02.08.08, 12:36pm

The man sitting 12th in US points table for the Ryder Cup has probably ruined his chances of playing in this years’ tournament by saying that the players are treated like ‘slaves’ during the week in which the Ryder Cup is completed.

Hunter Mahan, who is considered to be one of the best young golfers in the world right now has criticised the whole tournament in this shocking outburst. To summarise his unexpected comments, Hunter Mahan’s main points were that:

-    The players have to have ‘big dinners’ every night meaning that they can’t prepare themselves properly.
-    The whole week is extremely long and tedious.
-    The Ryder Cup is by no means fun.
-    He wouldn’t be surprised if some American players refuse to play in the tournament at some point in the future

These are certainly strong statements to make. Maybe you would expect such things from a retiring professional who wanted one last swipe at the game, but from a talented 26-year-old? Very strange indeed. I guess he has to be praised for speaking his mind and maybe his comments will lead to a change in the way American prepare for the Ryder Cup, who knows.

The most significant point he made though, in my opinion, was that he believed the PGA of America ‘couldn’t care less’ about winning the Ryder Cup. Hunter Mahan praised the fact that the European team choose a venue that is on the European tour for the Ryder Cup, meaning they have the advantage of playing on it previously. However, the American PGA chooses somewhere that will mean they earn more money.

It will be interesting to see what type of reaction these comments from Hunter Mahan will receive. I expect they will just be brushed off by the American team, but wouldn’t it be fascinating if it led to some more players coming out to criticise the Ryder Cup set up? It certainly wouldn’t be ideal preparation for Paul Azinger’s team as they look to win the tournament for the first time since 1999.

Talking of Paul Azinger, he has consistently spoke about his desire to only have players who actually want to be there. Well, I think that rules out Hunter Mahan. If he qualifies automatically for the tournament there will probably be the first refusal from a player and if he doesn’t qualify automatically I think it would be safe to place all of my golf betting money on Paul Azinger not choosing him as one of his four wildcard picks.

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Comments (2)

Tags: Hunter Mahan · Ryder Cup


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2 comments so far

  • 1 Adam // Aug 4, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Actually Tom Weiskopf refused to play in the Ryder Cup back in the 1970’s. Hunter would be the first one in 30 years to skip it when/if chosen.

  • 2 Conor O'Kane // Aug 9, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Hunter should have kept his mouth shut, the attention clearly affected him terribly, I doubt he’ll be doing much chatting after this.

    http://pgatourist.blogspot.com/

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