Ryder Cup 'not that big a deal' - Nicklaus


Jack Nicklaus has described the Ryder Cup as "not that big a deal" as he urges America's top golfers to focus more on their own form for the major championships.

The United States have won only two of the previous 10 instalments of the biennial competition, but have the chance to improve that record at Hazeltine at this year's event, which gets under way on September 30.

Despite defeat in six of the last seven editions, Nicklaus has advised the American players not to put too much pressure on themselves, citing the majors as more important.

"My feeling is that the Ryder Cup goes in cycles," said Nicklaus, whose 18 major titles are more than any other golfer in history.

"I told the guys not to worry about it. There they were talking about the Ryder Cup, but I told them they have far more important things to worry about, like the four majors this year.

"Yes, it's a great honour to represent your country. And a great honour to be part of an international team. But it's supposed to be fun.

"I asked them if they knew who won and lost in the last Ryder Cup. No one knew. Then I asked who won the last four majors. They all knew.

"So it's not that big a deal. I know they all want to play their best, but they also need to take it as a game that they prepare for and have fun in when they go play. It's for bragging rights. I told them to try to not make it more than what it is.

"People talk about the pressure. Are you telling me there is more pressure in the Ryder Cup than coming down the last fairway at Augusta or the US Open with a major on the line? Crap."