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More US "Sour grapes" over Presidents Cup

The Presidents Cup tournament in Melbourne last month has been dismissed as a ``glorified silly-season event'' by a prestigious American golf magazine.

In its latest issue, the weekly Golf World claimed the event was virtually ignored by the American media and treated by television giant ESPN in the same way as a women's basketball game.

In what appears to be a near-fatal dose of sour grapes, Golf World listed a string of excuses for the Americans' dismal showing at Royal Melbourne against the International team, which gave the star-studded United States its worst hiding in professional team golf - 20 1/2points to 111/2.

The magazine editorialised that the ``Presidents Cup felt more like a glorified silly-season event than anything of historical significance, and not just because the US was trounced so convincingly''.

``Never has (US PGA Tour commissioner) Tim Finchem's Ryder Cup replica seemed so contrived, so lethargic, so disposable.

``The low point came Saturday afternoon when CBS's tape-delayed broadcast was interrupted for 20minutes by the impeachment hearings.

``Talk about bad omens. Not that CBS wanted much to do with the Presidents Cup anyway - it skipped televising the first day's play altogether, turned down the chance to show Sunday's singles matches live on Saturday night (a traditional network wasteland) and left golf anchor Jim Nantz home to handle his NFL Today chores.''

Meanwhile, the Australian Premier, Jeff Kennett, has stepped up efforts to stage the Presidents Cup again in 2002, after it returns to the US in 2000.

Kennett revealed he wrote to Finchem yesterday as part of his lobbying.

``Whereas before they came here there was no chance we'd get it again, now we do have a chance,'' Kennett said on Sport 927 radio.