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K Club dispute will not affect Ryder Cup, says minister

Written by: Staff
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STRAFFAN, Ireland, July 6 (Reuters) A dispute between K Club greenkeepers and the government will not disrupt the Ryder Cup later this year, Irish minister John O'Donoghue said today.

Greenkeepers are threatening to strike during the Sept.

22-24 match between Europe and the US if a demand for more pay, estimated at an extra two euros (2.55 dollars) per hour, is not met.

The dispute has gone to arbitration but O'Donoghue, minister for arts, sport and tourism, told reporters: ''It's a bit like the postmen threatening to strike just before Christmas.

''I don't believe this represents a real threat.'' About 45,000 Ryder Cup spectators a day are expected at the K Club course, with the demand for tickets oversubscribed by 89 percent.

To avoid disappointment for fans turning up for practice days, captains Ian Woosnam and Tom Lehman have been asked to advise their players to stick to official practice sessions.

World number one Tiger Woods has often played his practice rounds in early morning in the past before most spectators arrived at the course.

''We are confident the captains will ask their players to adhere to scheduled practice times,'' Ryder Cup director Richard Hills said.

The K Club is also hosting this week's European Open.

REUTERS PM VC1806

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