Player antics at
Ryder Cup issue arises again
The thorny issue of excessive celebrations at the Ryder Cup has reared
its head again after the head of the PGA of America called into question
Sergio Garcias antics following Europes victory at the Belfry
In an interview with The Scotsman, Jim Awtrey, the chief executive officer
of the PGA of America, admits to "concern" at the way the young
Spaniard broke off from his singles match with Davis Love to sprint down
the fairway after Paul McGinley sank the winning putt.
Three years previously, at the 1999 match in Brookline, the American
team members and their wives had been widely condemned for sprinting on
to the 17th green on the final day to celebrate Justin Leonards birdie
before Europes Jose- Maria Olazabal had had the chance to putt.
The Spaniard missed and America won the cup, but the manner in which
the victors conducted themselves caused considerable resentment.
Awtrey was delighted to see a general improvement in behaviour both on
and off the course at the Belfry in 2002. However, he does admit to concern
at Garcias behaviour.
"What happened at the Belfry was good in as much as we had both
excellent player and fan behaviour. Having said that, I was concerned at
the 18th when Sergio was running down the fairway and jumped on a players
back. Personally, I believe matches should get to the 18th green before
they are conceded.
"We judge the players based on their performance. If you were around
the 18th when Tiger Woods was playing his match and hes one up and
Sam [Torrance] is on the back [of the green] and theyre celebrating
while the players are still expecting to putt out, there should have been
a concession there. Then, the next day, the media is looking at why Tiger
didnt win his match and saying hes got a poor record.
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