Captain Of U.s. Ryder Cup Team Fires Parting Shot On Pay Issue

Posted: August 12, 1999

MEDINAH, Ill. — Just when the PGA of America thought the debate on whether players should receive compensation for their participation in the Ryder Cup was over, U.S. team captain Ben Crenshaw fired a parting shot.

Throughout the day yesterday, players put a happy face on their meeting Tuesday with representatives of the PGA of America and the PGA Tour. The standard response belonged to Payne Stewart, who said, "We're all on the same page."

But Crenshaw blasted "a couple of people," whom he declined to identify.

"I'm personally disappointed in a couple of people in that meeting," he said. "I mean that. They know who they are. Whether some players like it or not, there are some people who came before them that mean a hell of a lot to this game. And it burns the hellout of me to listen to some of their viewpoints. But I'm not going to say any more about it.

"The meeting was very good because it cleared the air. There was a lot of misinformation, and let's not discuss it any longer. Those players knew how I stood before I went in there, and that's all I'm going to say about it."

The players are not compensated, and tournament revenue is contributed to charity.

David Duval and Tiger Woods had been the most outspoken on compensation but clarified their remarks to say they merely wanted to have a say in where charitable donations were sent.

Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer of the PGA of America, addressed Ryder Cup finances yesterday, saying the PGA would take in just under $50 million in gross revenue, less than the $63 million reported recently in Golf Digest.

He said $12.5 million would go to the Ryder Cup Outreach Program, which benefits golf programs for youths, minorities and others. He said $8 million would return to the PGA - $2 million for each of the next four years, or until the next Ryder Cup on U.S. soil - for "what furthers the mission of the PGA and these programs that we're doing now and will develop."

Tour in Pennsylvania. A tournament tentatively named the Pennsylvania Classic was on the PGA Tour schedule for the 2000 season that was released yesterday, but there was no city and course as yet. The site was listed as "Pennsylvania."

The only certainty was the dates - Sept. 11 through 17.

"Details are to follow," a tour spokesman said, declining to comment further.

Mary Ann Saleski, executive director of the Senior PGA Tour's Bell Atlantic Classic, has been working with PGA Tour officials on the event. She said that the plan was to alternate the site between the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas, but that the location of the inaugural tournament had yet to be determined.

"We've been working on it for a while," she said. "The last I talked with them, they were still looking at the courses. I took them around quite a bit. They're still evaluating the courses they looked at."

Saleski declined to name the courses being considered. She said "several" were under study.

"It's still in discussion," she said. "We have to get the course selection done and the contracts signed." The tour "usually waits until that's finished before they announce it."

Saleski said her role in the new event had yet to be defined.

Hail to the chairman. Jack Connelly, head pro at Huntingdon Valley Country Club, is the vice president of the PGA of America and, therefore, the chairman of the PGA Championship.

Part of that function, according to Connelly, is to allow the staff of the PGA of America to do its job.

"Our staff is just so good," Connelly said. "They're doing what they need to do to make this the best championship ever.

"As chairman, I talk to all the chairpersons to make sure everything is all right. I have three or four speaking engagements. I announced at the Champions Clinic. Inga [his wife] and I are going to a dinner with international television on Saturday representing the PGA."

In addition to his duties, Connelly is observing the role of PGA president Will Mann, whom he will succeed in November 2000.

"I'm still learning," he said. "It's important to go around and get a feel of everything the president does, learning the right moves. There are only two people who speak for the association - the CEO and the president.

"Right now, I'm still like a kid in a candy shop. When you have guys like Davis Love, Paul Azinger and Payne Stewart coming over and saying, 'Hi, Jack, how you doing?', that's pretty neat.' "

Notes. No current members of the Philadelphia Section PGA qualified for the PGA Championship. Brett Upper, the former head pro at Bent Creek Country Club in Lititz who is now head pro at the Arizona Country Club in Phoenix, is in the field. Upper tied for second at the PGA Club Professional Championship in July. . . . Other players of Philadelphia interest in the field are Jim Furyk, who was born in West Chester and lived in the Lancaster area, and Ted Tryba, formerly of Wilkes-Barre.

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