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Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 19:15 UK

Wales warned of Ryder Cup 'one-off'

Venue: Celtic Manor Resort, Newport Date: 3 June - 6 June Starts: 0700 BST
Coverage: Score updates on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live and online. Saturday highlights at 2345 BST on BBC TWO Wales and Sunday highlights at 2230 BST on BBC TWO Wales. Live on Sky Sports 3

By Peter Shuttleworth

Europe captain Colin Montgomerie and US captain Corey Pavin
Europe's captain is Colin Montgomerie and America's is Corey Pavin

Wales has been warned the 2010 Ryder Cup could be the only time the nation hosts golf's showpiece tournament.

The Celtic Manor will stage October's event between Colin Montgomerie's Europe and United States as the Ryder Cup comes to Wales for the first time.

Jim McKenzie, Celtic Manor's director of golf courses, has told the Welsh to enjoy this "one-off" as golfing chiefs should share the Ryder Cup around.

"I believe this will be a one-off opportunity," said McKenzie.

Wales beat Gleneagles in Scotland for the right to host this Ryder Cup after the first tender process to stage the tournament - but the Perthshire course was chosen as the 2014 host course.

McKenzie insists Wales' bid won because their team convinced the European Tour that the golfing, economic and tourism boost the Ryder Cup would be greater for Wales.

Now McKenzie thinks future Ryder Cups in Europe should be shared around the continent to spread the word of golf and boost inward investment.

Only two of the 18 Ryder Cups hosted by Europe have been outside of the United Kingdom - 1997 in Spain and 2006 in Ireland - but the 2018 spectacle will be on the continent as the six bidders are France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Jim McKenzie
Jim McKenzie has played a key role in the redesign of the Celtic Manor course

"I believe this will be a one-off opportunity for Wales," stated McKenzie.

"There are five or six countries who attended the symposium for the 2018 bid, all of whom have made a big contribution to the Ryder Cup, all of whom deserve the Ryder Cup and all of whom will get the Ryder Cup at some point.

"It is fair to share the Ryder Cup around and the whole importance of the Ryder Cup has changed as it should be used to deliver growth of the game in areas which needs help.

"And I believe, in relative terms to Scotland when we bid, Wales were in that position. Wales were able to prove to the Ryder Cup board that we could be benefit from staging the Ryder Cup more than Sweden or Scotland."

Tiger Woods and co hope to retain the Ryder Cup for captain Corey Pavin's team in Newport between 1 and 3 October and hold off skipper Montgomerie's European hopefuls.

And Ryder Cup Wales chief executive Rob Holt hopes Wales impress to ensure the golf's crown jewel returns.

"The European Tour have said they won't stage a Ryder Cup in the UK until 2030," admitted Holt.

"But let us be positive and hope we have a fantastic event with wonderful weather and is such a success that the tour thinks let's go back there again."

The Ryder Cup is only eclipsed by the football World Cup and the Olympic Games in worldwide audience terms as it is expected to attract an audience of two billion people in 195 different countries.

The Belfry has staged the Ryder Cup four times while Royal Lytham and St Annes and Royal Birkdale have also staged the biennial transatlantic golfing battle.

The Ryder Cup should never go to the same venue twice because it is all about the development of golf and that area and everyone should have a chance

Jim McKenzie, Celtic Manor's director of golf courses

But McKenzie told BBC Sport: "I don't think the Celtic Manor will bid for it again as I don't think we'd get it.

"I think there is such interest in the Ryder Cup in mainland Europe that whoever gets it in 2018, there will be a queue of countries behind them to host future Ryder Cups.

"The Belfry got it four times for different reasons, but my personal opinion is that the Ryder Cup should never go to the same venue twice because it is all about the development of golf and that area and everyone should have a chance.

"The Ryder Cup is the biggest tournament to develop the growth of golf and help geographical areas take advantage of the profile of staging a Ryder Cup.

"It is the third largest sporting event in the world in terms of global audience and is a massive tool for an area to show what they have to offer and who they are.

"As a result there is no shortage of places that want to take advantage of the Ryder Cup concept."

St Pierre golf course near Chepstow hosted the 1996 Solheim Cup as well as a host of Epson Grand Prix of Europe events and British Masters tournaments.

The Vale of Glamorgan hotel has staged challenge tour events, Royal Porthcawl has hosted Walker Cups and the British Masters while Machynys in Llanelli and Conwy have been home to the Ladies Tour championships.


"There are an awful lot of good Welsh golf courses to hold a Ryder Cup, but you need more than just having a good golf course," added McKenzie.

"It is whether they have the infrastructure, drive of local government and public and private sector backing.

"But I do think that this is the one and only time Wales will host a Ryder Cup and because of the global audience and the profile of the event, the Ryder Cup will be the biggest thing to come to Wales for years.

"And Wales may not hold a Ryder Cup again but I think the Ryder Cup will be a catalyst and play a major part in which blue riband event Wales attract in the future.

"I hope the Welsh public enjoy the Ryder Cup but I don't think people realise the significance of the Ryder Cup to Wales as it is the biggest opportunity put ourselves in the global shop window."

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see also
Wales hopes to end golf hoodoo
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Monty dealt Wales Ryder Cup blow
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Montgomerie plans Garcia pep talk
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Monty calls for Scots' Ryder push
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Ryder hopefuls boost Wales field
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Twenty Ten course in photos
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Work starts on 2010 Ryder Cup
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Wales Open - former winners
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Golf on the BBC
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BBC Sport Wales coverage
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