Samuel Ryder's sole intention

Peter HughesSenior Analyst ISeptember 1, 2008

Samuel Ryder, in 1927, when donating his trophy to the Professional Golfers' Association, used the following words: "It is intended to foster goodwill and fellowship between professional golfers in Great Britain & The United States of America."

To all intents and purposes his wish was granted, however, he could never have anticipated the controversies which have engulfed the fixture in recent years.

Disputes commenced in the mid 1980's, when Jack Nicklaus, in all innocence suggested the Great Britain & Ireland team should include European players.

His intention was to boost the strength of the side, thus giving the US sterner opposition.

In fact Jack opened a Pandora's box !

The European Tour grabbed the opportunity to lay part claim on the trophy, soley owned by the PGA, by insisting if their players were to be involved they should be involved with the selection of venues, teams and rules of the contest. The PGA, being a much smaller organization had no alternative but to agree.

The "marketing boys" quickly took over control. Sponsorship became the order of the day, venues who were prepared to invest huge sums to gain the fixture preferred to traditional courses, advertising rights given to the highest bidders in the corporate world and media regardless of the constrictions they would demand.

To this end, Hunter Mahan, has already made his thoughts clear on the demands made on both teams during the week of the match.

It is vital in marketing terms to stir up the public interest, therefore all kinds of ruses have been employed to "Keep the pot boiling", the very latest, Faldo's choice to complete his team and no doubt Azinger will do likewise !

Professionals regard the captaincy of a Ryder Cup team to be the supreme accolade and it is a mystery why an Irishman has yet to be honoured, although 19 Irishmen have given sterling service to respective teams.

The question is :- In an Elysium clubhouse does Samuel Ryder consider his dream to be fulfilled ?

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