The Ryder Cup returned for the first time in three years on Friday, 24 September.
In Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, USA, Team Europe and Team USA are already battling out to win the 43rd edition of the famous competition.
Team USA are the favourites to win on home soil, but the cup can be unpredictable.
Since the cup was expanded in 1979 – the previous edition of the competition originally included matches between the USA and Great Britain (and briefly Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland) – Europe have 11 wins to the USA’s eight.
Brit Lee Westwood has made the team for a record 11th appearance.
How much will players earn?
Unlike so many sporting tournaments, the Ryder Cup prioritises the pride of winning the tournament over any pay cheque.
The tournament is now so famous that it draws in a sizeable chunk of broadcasting money and sponsorship deals to the tune of several million dollars, but players remain unpaid.
Team Europe will be paying for their team member’s travel expenses and outfits.
European captains also offer gifts to their players, this year this was the responsibility of Irishman Padraig Harrington.
This was a tradition started in 1983 by golfing legend and former captain Tony Jacklin.
Team USA receive $200,000 from the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA of America), but it is in the form of a donation. 50% will go to a charity of the golfer’s choice and the other 50% to Boys & Girls Club of America, Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship, and PGA Junior League Golf.
Where does the money go?
According to Today’s Golfer, the money made by the cup goes to each of the relevant golfing organisations responsible for the teams. This is the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour.
“When the event is played in the United States, such as this year’s match at Whistling Straits, the PGA of America owns the rights to the events and takes the majority of the profits (just under 84%, with just over 16% going to the European Tour).
“When the event is hosted in Europe, as it will be in 2023, the European Tour claims 60 per cent of the profits.”
The lack of pay has caused trouble before.
In 1999, after the “Battle of Brookline” in which Team USA won by 14 1/2 to 13 1/2, several golfers questioned where the money went.
Tiger Woods, Mark O’Meara, Phil Mickelson and David Duval managed to have an input on striking a deal with the PGA of America, which is why the money is now given to charity.
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