The European Tour is openly shopping the Ryder Cup, to the highest bidder, no doubt, though it will argue that financial considerations are only a part of the equation it will use to determine the winner.
Still, there is something unseemly about so brazen an attempt to squeeze parties interested in hosting an event in which the players are asked to play for pride.
The opinion here is that the Ryder Cup lost some of its appeal in 1999, when players began openly to talk about receiving compensation for their participation. They had a point, though not one they should have articulated in an open forum. Multimillionaires complaining about money is never good business.
Eventually, players were awarded $200,000 each to donate to charities of their choice, a number that hasn't changed since then.
Maybe it's time the number is bumped, inasmuch as money is the overriding concern of those responsible for conducting the matches and that, like the players in '99, they're not inclined to keep their intentions private.
-- John Strege