Calls for Ryder Cup to shift

2014-09-23 20:18
Graeme McDowell (AFP)

Gleneagles - Graeme McDowell has said on Tuesday he would be in favour of playing the Ryder Cup every three years against the current two-year gap.

The Northern Irishman, who will play in his fourth consecutive Ryder Cup at Gleneagles this week, said that he felt the biennial formula currently in use was particularly tough on the US team.

That would partly explain, he believes, the slump in US fortunes in the last 20 years with the European team winning seven times out of nine.

"I think it's difficult for a lot of the stalwart Americans who play year-in, year-out, Presidents Cup, Ryder Cups," McDowell said.

"I've spoken to a few of them and they are of the belief that this needs to be every three years so that they can play a Ryder Cup and a Presidents Cup and have a year off.

"I would be a supporter of that. I think for their level of engagement, they need that, because when you look at the Tigers (Woods) and Phils (Mickelson) and (Steve) Strickers and (Jim) Furyks who have played eight, nine, ten, 12 of these in a row, they do lose their shine."

Gleneagles will be the 40th Ryder Cup clash between Europe and the United States dating back to 1927 and, barring the World War II period when the competition was suspended for 10 years, the gap between editions has always been two years.

The exception to that came after the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York just before the Ryder Cup was due to be played at The Belfry outside Birmingham.

The competition was held over to the following year which meant that the Ryder Cup was contested in even-numbered years as opposed to odd-numbered years.

Asked what he thought about the Ryder Cup being staged every three years, US captain Tom Watson said he was not convinced.

"I am concerned about how much these players are playing before they reach The Ryder Cup. That's what I'm very concerned about that," he said.

"These players are playing seven out of eight tournaments or eight out of nine tournaments in a row. They are tired. That's too much golf, too much golf.

"But just the way it is. You have to deal with it. That does concern me, and if they could rectify that by a change in the date or the way these tournaments are played prior to it, that would be great for The Ryder Cup.

"As far as a three-year, I had not thought about a three-year cycle. I still like two years. I think that's just right."


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