Justin Thomas opens up on thorny Ryder Cup issue on eve of PGA Championship

Justin Thomas has offered his thoughts on whether Ryder Cup competitors should be paid on the eve of the 2024 US PGA Championship.

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas has offered his thoughts on the thorny subject of whether Ryder Cup players should be remunerated on the eve of the 2024 PGA Championship

Thomas, 31, opened up on the topic in an interview with the Times of London. 

In the same interview Thomas expressed frustration at not having achieved more in his PGA Tour career thus far. 

"It sucks," the American said. "There really is no other way to say it."


Thomas, you may recall, was a controversial captain's pick at the 2023 Ryder Cup. 

Despite his stellar record in the contest, the golfer appeared to be all at sea with his game after a simply miserable major season that was summed up with a tearful news conference at the 151st Open Championship. 

Thomas decided not to take any time off in the build-up to the biennial dust-up last September by playing and practicing in the five weeks prior. 

That move wasn't mirrored by his teammates and Team USA were later accused of poor preparation. 

For the very first time, Thomas has conceded that - whilst poor preparation wasn't entirely to blame for their five-point defeat - each team member would 'do things differently'. 

Other than poor preparation, there were accusations some in the Team USA locker room were not happy about not being compensated to compete. 

Team USA at the 2023 Ryder Cup
Team USA at the 2023 Ryder Cup

You'll likely know the accusations were towards Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. 

Cantlay said he wasn't protesting by not wearing a Team USA cap, insisting that he couldn't find one that fit. 

But the American refused to respond with a simple 'yes' or 'no' when asked directly if Ryder Cup players should be paid. 

Schauffele's father later added fuel to the fire when he confirmed his son's appearance at the 2023 contest was in doubt weeks before the Ryder Cup because of a contractual dispute with the PGA of America. 

And Thomas said the issue 'could be brought up in conversation at some point'. 

He told The Times: "It was made into a bigger deal in terms of this team than it actually was. 

"I would say every person on planet Earth would prefer to play and be compensated financially than not be, but it’s not something where I’m losing sleep over the fact we haven’t been paid to play in the Ryder Cup.

"You could go down many avenues and look at the revenue it generates and make a very good argument we could and should be [paid], but again, I haven’t lost any sleep at any point of the night because of it."

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas

Whilst Thomas appears receptive to the idea of having a 'conversation', there is one important figure who has strong feelings on the subject. 

Luke Donald, Europe's winning captain, was asked if Ryder Cup competitors should be paid in the immediate aftermath of their victory in Rome. 

In no uncertain terms, Donald said: "Absolutely not."

He added: "The Ryder Cup represents true sport. It's about representing your country. It's about coming together as a team.

"It's the purest form of competition we have and I think because of that the fans love it. There's no extrinsic motivation involved. It's purely, purely sport."
The 2025 Ryder Cup will be played over 25-28 September at Bethpage Black in Long Island, New York. 

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