Ryder Cup Clippings, Sunday Preview Edition

2006rydercup.jpgJohn Huggan talks to Sam Torrance and Bernard Gallacher about their memories and the horror of having to make captain's picks.

Huggan also speaks to Peter Oosterhuis about some of his memories:
"I was disappointed at the so-called 'War on the Shore' in 1991," he says with a shake of the head. "Things got out of hand there. I didn't like the khaki hats and all that went with them. I was proud of the way Tom Watson and Bernard Gallacher turned that around in 1993. They put the matches in perspective.

"And, like everyone else, I didn't like what happened at Brookline in '99. Of course, there are two sides to every story. The Americans were annoyed by Sergio's leaping all over the place during the first two days. But on the last day I think the PGA of America lost control of the crowd. Boston's golf community was embarrassed by what went on at the Country Club. It wasn't them who were causing problems; it was the non-golfers in the gallery. There are so many more of them now than in my day."

Tom English shares a fun story about the US team's recent bonding session.

David Davies explain$ why we have to watch the European hosted Ryder Cup$ on such lou$y venue$:
It is estimated that in the period including the run-up to the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama, to the hosting of the matches at Gleneagles, in Scotland in 2014, around £350 million will have poured into the coffers of the European Tour. Schofield has now retired from running the tour but his personal view is that the selling of the Ryder Cup brought huge benefits to all concerned. As an indication of how things operated in his time, he says: "The Ryder Cup was the ultimate prize and the choice of venues — and now, increasingly, host countries — is determined by a consistency of support over a period of time. Take Valderrama and the '97 Ryder Cup. Spain, in the shape of Turespana and the autonomous regions of the Canaries, Balearics, Andalucia, Valencia, Catalunya and Madrid itself, supported almost 40 regular tour events as part of the 'bidding' for that Ryder Cup.

"As for the Belfry, that course was custom-built for the guarantee of several matches. What would the total benefit to the PGA, in terms of offices and a new national training academy, and also the tour, with 16 regular tour events plus a Hennessy Cup, be counted at? Well, other than many, many millions, I don't know.

"What I do know is that that almost certainly inspired a number of major multi-nationals who own facilities, like Johnnie Walker and Gleneagles, to believe if they demonstrated consistent and substantial commitment to the game, they would have a chance of that ultimate prize, the Ryder Cup.

"That also applied to the big owner-occupiers like Jimmy Patino at Valderrama, Michael Smurfit at The K Club and Terry Matthews at Celtic Manor — support the overall concept and be in with a chance of the ultimate prize."