CARDIFF, Wales – U.S. and European players have been banned from using Twitter and other social networking sites during the Ryder Cup.
U.S. captain Corey Pavin and European counterpart Colin Montgomerie say there will be a blanket ban in place this week to keep players focused on the three-day competition, which begins Friday at Celtic Manor.
“We have decided as a whole to not tweet this week,” Pavin said. “It can be a little bit distracting sometimes. I think it’s important to focus on the Ryder Cup and playing the matches and just enjoying camaraderie with the team itself.
“But first thing a week from today, I’m sure tweeting will be all over the place.”
Montgomerie also told his players to avoid Twitter and other sites and “focus on the job at hand this week.”
“We feel that tweeting and Facebook and all of these social sites can get one’s self into trouble,” Montgomerie said. “On Monday, Oct. 4, yes, you’ll find the team probably on social network sites. But not until then.”
Montgomerie said his decision was prompted by the incident involving England cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who was fined earlier this month for making a profane comment on Twitter after discovering he had been dropped by his country for the first time.
“Kevin Pietersen’s error changed my view as to that, yes,” Montgomerie said.
U.S. player Rickie Fowler confirmed his team’s Twitter ban, tweeting on Monday: “Guys I’m sorry to inform you but the news is true … we will not be allowed to tweet while we are in Wales … Cpt’s orders!!”
Stewart Cink, who won the Open Championship in 2009, has more than 1 million followers on Twitter.
“We’re finally off to Wales!! Won’t be tweeting until we get back. I guess I’ll have to pass the down time actually reading or something,” Cink tweeted before the U.S. team’s charter flight from Atlanta to Cardiff.
U.S. team members Zach Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson also have active Twitter accounts.
Europe team member Ian Poulter has a large following on Twitter, but was forced to apologize earlier this year for using an anti-Semitic slur after a football match between north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal, the team he supports.
Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari are other members of the European team who use Twitter.