Ryder Cup: Patrick Cantlay’s ‘hat-gate’ raises concerns over remuneration at the tournament

Have you ever wondered why players like Mark O’Meara and David Duval have never captained the US Ryder Cup team?

Both have the necessary credentials: O’Meara is a two-time major champion, and Duval won the Open in 2001 and was a dominant world number one. Both are articulate, bright former teammates who have the potential to be excellent leaders.

But neither has gotten a look in. It’s no surprise that they proposed, along with Tiger Woods, that golfers be paid to compete in the Ryder Cup in 1999.

This vexing problem has reappeared and is rumbling with increased force, courtesy of ‘hat-gate,’ Patrick Cantlay’s apparent refusal to wear a team cap when representing the United States at the Ryder Cup in Italy last month.

Cantlay’s actions were initially reported by Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir as a protest against the fact that Ryder Cup participants are not paid.

It should be noted that as a result of the 1999 demonstrations, US team members received $200,000 (£164,000) to contribute to organizations of their choice. Furthermore, 20% of the Ryder Cup’s media rights go to the PGA Tour and its pension fund, benefiting their players.

However, there is no price for showing up to represent your country or continent, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on.

Cantlay responded to Weir’s charges, which caused a schism in the US team room, by saying they were “the furthest thing from the truth” at Marco Simone.

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