News & ToursSeptember 27, 2010

'10 million reasons Americans are bonding'

NEWPORT, Wales -- Repeated ad nauseam every other year is that for all of their talents and triumphs, American golfers can't shake their preternatural individualism and, therefore, they struggle to come together as a cohesive unit for the Ryder Cup.

The Europeans, meanwhile, get on brilliantly, which, it's been suggested, adequately explains their success in five of the last seven meetings. We think they've just played better, but what do we know?

Ah, but now for Chemistry 101. Subscript: 10 million reasons Americans are bonding.

One of the last players to board the U.S. charter flight from Atlanta to Cardiff, Wales, Sunday night was Jim Furyk. No surprise there, given he had just won the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup, which carries a $10 million bonus. U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin reported that the plane -- full of those obdurate self-centered multi-millionaire individualists -- erupted in applause when Furyk boarded.

"That was a nice moment," Pavin said Monday afternoon at Celtic Manor. "Then I told Jim he had to pay for everyone's seat on the charter. He said, 'OK, I have reserves now.'"

-- Dave Shedloski

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