Larry Sanders was barred from playing in the Ryder Cup for playing basketball. Yet he was somehow still allowed to watch golf

TIME’S POLL of golf fans this week showed that “the drama surrounding the Ryder Cup” was at an all-time high, with “annoying pre-match rituals” and celebrity pairing controversies are seen as major problems. But…

Larry Sanders was barred from playing in the Ryder Cup for playing basketball. Yet he was somehow still allowed to watch golf

TIME’S POLL of golf fans this week showed that “the drama surrounding the Ryder Cup” was at an all-time high, with “annoying pre-match rituals” and celebrity pairing controversies are seen as major problems. But perhaps the biggest no-show of all was Larry Sanders, who was playing in the tournament for Team Europe.

Sanders, who was regarded as one of the NBA’s dirtyest players and an opponent of the Travelers Championship in 2010, objected to a rule that restricted players to carrying three bags at the tournament. The former Milwaukee Bucks center and bad-boy of the game was eventually banned from playing at the Tourney and bought his way out of his contract, presumably also securing his exit from The Travelers. Sanders is currently in prison serving a 60-day sentence for assault following a string of charges of abusing women.

Not all of the controversies over the course of the tournament were handled quite so successfully.

In 2017, members of Team Europe made sarcastic gestures of support for the U.S. players in the match on the final day of the event. That November, former President George W. Bush was heckled by players on the Team U.S.A., as well as spectators during his halftime appearance at the game.

In 2004, the biennial matches were marred by protests at The Belfry by indigenous activists, both domestically and abroad. Shouting “Si se puede!” or “Yes we can!” in reference to the 2008 election, activists took to the course to protest the policies of then-President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

And the proceedings at the 2014 Ryder Cup was perhaps the most contentious since it aired on HBO.

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