Apparently, hell hath no fury like a Ryder Cup spectator scorned.
Thousands of golf fans who thought they had a legitimate shot to buy tickets for the 2020 Ryder Cup in a “lottery” after receiving a “congratulatory” email instead wound up feeling they’d been duped by the PGA of America on Wednesday.
And they took to social media to let the PGA know how they felt in no uncertain terms.
General admission tickets for the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Haven next September sold out in 47 minutes. It is not known exactly how many tickets were sold, but in 2016 approximately 200,000 tickets were sold for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in suburban Minneapolis.
Those interested in purchasing tickets for 2020 registered their email addresses weeks in advance and received an access code Monday. They were instructed to wait in line in a digital ticket lobby starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Many complained on Twitter that they got in line at 9 a.m., waited as long as two hours and never got a chance to purchase. Others said they received messages indicating tickets were in their online carts, but error messages preventing them from completing the transaction.
Not long after the tickets sold out, the secondary market appeared to be flooded with them.
StubHub was offering tickets for competition days (Friday through Sunday, Sept. 25-27) starting at $425. On vividseats.com, people could buy as many as 20 International Pavilion tickets at a price of $597 each, even though spectators were allowed a maximum of four tickets in the lottery.
Prime Sport, a “PGA-approved secondary market,” had tickets available for competition days ranging from $427.50 to $450 and for practice rounds ranging from $85.50 to $180.
A tweet posted shortly after 2 p.m. on the @RyderCupUSA Twitter account read, “Due to unprecedented demand for 2020 #RyderCup tickets, which quickly sold out today, some may have experienced challenges during the Random Selection Process. We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm & excitement for the #RyderCup & apologize for any inconvenience.”
Due to unprecedented demand for 2020 #RyderCup tickets, which quickly sold out today, some may have experienced challenges during the Random Selection Process. We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm & excitement for the #RyderCup & apologize for any inconvenience.— Ryder Cup USA (@RyderCupUSA) October 16, 2019
That did little to pacify angry ticket applicants.
A disclaimer on the Ryder Cup website did indicate that “due to high demand, having an access code does not guarantee you a chance to buy tickets." But many who received "congratulatory" emails and access codes felt they'd been misled.
The PGA did not release the number of entrants in the lottery, but Ryder Cup Director Jason Mengel said the number was unprecedented for a domestic Ryder Cup.