Monday 16 December 2019

McDowell calls for schedule change

Graeme McDowell believes the Ryder Cup should be played once every three years to take account of the demands placed on American players.

As well as playing the Ryder Cup in even-numbered years, the top US players take on an International team in the Presidents Cup in odd-numbered years.

" I think it's difficult for a lot of the stalwart Americans who play year-in, year-out, Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup," McDowell said ahead of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, which gets under way on Friday.

"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 likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk who have played eight, nine, 10, 12 of these in a row, they do lose their shine.

"This event has become such a global spectacle and such a huge passion, emotional week, we want them to be as into it as we are."

American captain Tom Watson said he still favoured the Ryder Cup being played every two years, but admitted that he was concerned with the amount of golf being played before this year's contest.

Watson successfully lobbied for a week off before Gleneagles to be included in this year's PGA Tour schedule, meaning the four FedEx Cup play-off events were played in consecutive weeks.

" I am concerned about how much these players are playing before they reach the Ryder Cup, I'm very concerned about that," the 65-year-old said. "Two years ago I made my point to Ted Bishop (PGA of America president) and to Tim Finchem (PGA Tour commissioner) about a week off between the end of the FedExCup.

"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."

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