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Gallagher speaks out on Ryder Cup money row

Bernard Gallacher, the man who brought back the trophy from Oak Hill in 1995, is quietly elated that some Americans are stirring up discontent by demanding payment to play in the Ryder Cup.

David Duval, Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara have been leading the pay-or-else campaign in the United States, Duval threatening to consider boycotting the Match were the PGA of America to refuse the demands.

For a man of Gallacher's background, it is anathema.

"All the complaining over there about not being paid to represent their country will work in our favour in a big way," said the former European captain.

"It shows that our heart is in playing for Europe in the Ryder Cup, whereas the likes of Woods, O'Meara and Duval are more interested in the big bucks.

"Maybe that's why we've been so successful in recent years."

Duval was quoted last week as saying that the Ryder Cup was an "overcooked" event, little more than an exhibition.

Yet he was quick to seize the opportunity to play Tiger Woods in last night's head-to-head match in California for American TV, which, most definitely, was nothing more than an exhibition.

The difference was that it carried a prize fund of more than £1million - for two golfers already millionaires many times over.

"The Ryder Cup is bigger than David Duval," added Gallacher. "The players say they don't know what happens to the money generated by the Match. I'm certain the PGA of America put it back into golf. That is certainly what happens over here.

"The European Tour and the PGA, who jointly run the Ryder Cup, are non-profit making organisations. The money generated by the matches played over here goes to helping club golf, junior golf, the European PGAs and tournament golf."

Meanwhile, Gallacher is adamant he had no alternative but to resign from the board of the PGA European Tour following hostile reaction from some Tournament Committee members to his views on the Tour.

It was widely publicised that the reason for his quitting was the proposal that players who miss the cut in tournaments should be paid. It goes much deeper than that.

The bottom line is that Gallacher strongly believes that it is the Colin Montgomeries, Lee Westwoods and Darren Clarkes who have made the European Tour what it is. These are the players, not the time-serving middle rankers, who attract the sponsors, television and the spectators.

"I want to keep Montgomerie, Westwood and Clarke on our Tour, and to do that we've got to get behind the new World Tour events," said Gallacher.

Sportlive