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'I find it disgraceful!': Ex-Ryder Cupper slams the USA following Rome defeat

‘I find it disgraceful!’: Ex-Ryder Cupper slams the USA following Rome defeat

Andrew Coltart believes Team USA need to find 12 players who “want to play for the red, white and blue” after their 2023 Ryder Cup defeat…

 

Andrew Coltart has slammed the USA’s approach to the Ryder Cup.

The former Team Europe member doesn’t believe all 12 players wanted to play for Zach Johnson’s American side in Rome.

Patrick Cantlay was the subject of wide reports that he wanted to be paid to play in the biennial matches.

Coltart described the idea of Ryder Cup pay as “disgraceful,” stating Europe’s team would sooner pay to compete from their own pockets.

“Before we talk about the captains, you’ve got to take 12 players who want to play for your red, white and blue,” he said speaking to Claude Harmon III on the Son of a Butch podcast.

“Because what I see is that’s not the case. There might be 10 of them, that might’ve been the case this year, there might be nine.

“I’m not seeing 12 players that want to play – you guys had a team two years ago at Whistling Straits that was meant to dominate for 10 years.

“I know you were arguably more depleted because of LIV than the DP World Tour, but the DP World Tour this year had guys in form. At Whistling Straits, we didn’t.

“But you need to get 12 players who want to play. I can’t stand listening to some of these multi-millionaires bitching – pitching up to a Ryder Cup and – ‘Somebody’s not paying me any money for it’.

“There’s something wrong with your psyche and personally, I wouldn’t have anybody in my team, even if they qualified, that didn’t want to play for the red, white and blue.

“I find it disgraceful. You go to the DP World Tour – every single man will bleed for that team. They will pay to play a Ryder Cup, not the other way around. Until you sort that out, you’re always going to be up against it.”

Coltart, who now works for Sky Sports, represented Europe at the 1999 Ryder Cup when they were dramatically beaten at Brookline.

The 53-year-old from Scotland also questioned Johnson and his vice-captains for allowing players to take weeks away from competitive play in preparation for the event at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

More than half of the American team didn’t play one round on tour in September, with the 44th Ryder Cup beginning on September 29.

“Would they do that for any of their major championships?” he added. “Would they take that amount of time off just before one of their majors, and think it was honestly going to give a good account of themselves? No, absolutely not.

“I want to question the players and say ‘Why don’t you want to play for these captains and vice-captains?’ If you want to let yourself down, you can go ahead and let yourself down, I don’t care, that’s fine, the Europeans lap that up.

“If you want to let your teammates down, you want to let your captains down, where’s the respect for Zach Johnson and that task force that you can’t be bothered playing for five weeks prior to a Ryder Cup?

“It’s not just you you’re letting down, what about the American fans? What about the people who paid for the trip to get over there to Rome to support you? And you’re only going to give it a half-baked opportunity?

“And it was no surprise that guess what, you started to play more like you could play at the end of the week when it was basically all but lost? I just don’t understand.

“There is no sport I know that any professional athlete would conceivably take that much time off before what is the Olympics – and expect to perform anywhere near their optimum level? I thought it was really, really poor.”

Who should be the next US Ryder Cup captain?

Now that Luke Donald has been re-appointed as European captain for the 2025 Ryder Cup, it’s over to the Americans to show their hand in the coming months.

Fred Couples and Stewart Cink were both vice-captains in Italy who are yet to take up the mantle, who could at Bethpage.

However, Coltart doesn’t believe major trophies are essential to being a top captain and unlocking the best in players, citing winning 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley as an example.

“Then let’s talk about the captains,” he added. “Look, a major winner doesn’t make a good captain. A great golfer doesn’t make a good coach. You’ve got to be able to talk to players, you’ve got to be able to be the glue that holds everything together.

“You’ve got to be able to take the time to understand all the players, what makes them tick. Paul McGinley had a very challenging one with Victor Dubuisson who is an interesting character and McGinley managed to work that out.

“Sometimes, if you’re the big man that’s won this and won that, won the next thing, then the Ryder Cup can be about them, and not about the players, not about the match, not about the team.

“I don’t think Zach Johnson necessarily did a terrible job, I don’t think his players pitched up and like I said, you can be the best captain in the world, but if your players don’t pitch up, forget about it.”

NOW READ: ‘If it’s him – Great’: Could Luke Donald have a Ryder Cup date with Tiger Woods?

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