Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Saturday, 13 February 2010

United States Ryder Cup team will fly into Wales

Ryder Cup course at Celtic Manor
The US team is defending the Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort

The United States Ryder Cup golf team will fly directly to Cardiff Airport when it defends its title at The Celtic Manor Resort near Newport.

The assembly government announced an agreement had been reached with the chief executive of The PGA of America, which oversees arrangements.

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones said it was important the American team landed in Wales to start its trip.

The tournament, between Europe and USA, takes place between 1-3 October.

The event will be the first to be staged on a course specifically built for a Ryder Cup and it was constructed at a cost of £16m, including the new Twenty Ten clubhouse.

This is the first time that Wales has hosted The Ryder Cup so we felt it was important that the American team actually land in Wales to start their trip
Heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones

The Celtic Manor Resort and its owner Sir Terry Matthews, the telecommunications entrepreneur, paid for costs inside the resort boundary while the assembly government paid for associated costs outside.

Ryder Cup Wales, a private company, was set up in 2003 to maximise the positive impact of Wales' bid to host the tournament and to deliver the bid's obligations.

"This is the first time that Wales has hosted The Ryder Cup so we felt it was important that the American team actually land in Wales to start their trip," said Mr Jones.

The assembly government said the fact the US team was arriving in the UK via Cardiff was likely to attract considerable interest.

The US team will fly in on 27 September and return home from Cardiff Airport on 4 October.

Margaret James, head of customer service at Cardiff Airport, said: "We look forward to welcoming the US team to Wales and hosting their travel through the airport.

"The airport has experience of handling travel for large-scale events and will work with all partner organisations to ensure the team's arrival is as seamless as possible."

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