‘Outright lies’: Patrick Cantlay denies report of team discord over Ryder Cup pay
On Saturday, thousands of fans at Marco Simone taunted Patrick Cantlay by waving their hats in the air — a reference to an incendiary report by Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir, in which he alleged that Cantlay was refusing to wear a hat at this week’s Ryder Cup as a form of protest because Cantlay thinks Ryder Cup players should be paid for their efforts. Weir said Cantlay’s stance “fractured” the U.S. team.
Once the gallery got wind of the story, they quickly devised a cheer to troll Cantlay: “Hats off/For your bank account” they sang. Cantlay gamely played along, even though he didn’t know the reason behind the cheer until after he and Wyndham Clark won their four-ball match against Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick.
After the match, Cantlay was grilled about the reasons behind his hatless appearance. He said it was simply because his hat didn’t fit properly, and it didn’t fit at the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in 2021, either. And when asked directly whether or not he thinks Ryder Cup players should be paid, he demurred.
“It’s not about that. It’s just about Team USA and representing our country,” he said. When pressed for a more definitive answer, he said, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
Cantlay then went about his business in Sunday singles, dispatching Justin Rose 2 and 1. It was an important win for the U.S. team at the time, keeping slim hopes of a comeback alive, though it wasn’t enough in the end.
In the aftermath of Cantlay’s win, NBC Sports’ Steve Sands asked Cantlay once again to comment on the report’s claims.
“It’s totally false,” Cantlay said. “It couldn’t be further from the truth. There hasn’t been one word of that all week. The U.S. Team has been close all week. It’s just outright lies.
“Yeah, not a shred of truth in the article that just one journalist wrote,” he continued. “It’s crazy that one journalist can put a tweet out there totally unfounded with complete lies and (indiscernible). The crowd ran with it, and I tried to have fun with them all day, smile.”
Cantlay finished the 2023 Ryder Cup with a 2-2-0 record.
“This tournament is all about representing our country and being together with my teammates and representing the USA,” he added. “And I’m extremely proud to be here.”