Golf News - Ryder Cup
2009 Ryder Cup -
Scottish, English and Welsh bids
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Investment adds much weight to the case for
Mike Aitken, The Scotsman, 7 February 2001
Like a jockey applying the whip in the home straight,
Scotland will hope to gain an advantage over their rivals in the race for the
2009 Ryder Cup with an announcement today about substantial investment in a
programme of professional golf events.
While Wales have already made their play with a series of
initiatives on the European Seniors Tour and the Ladies European Tour,
Scotland will reveal their hand less than a week before a critical meeting of
the Ryder Cup committee.
News about the Wales Seniors Open at Royal St Davids,
which carries a £500,000 prize fund, was issued last month, while details
about the £400,000 WPGA Championship of Europe at Royal Porthcawl came
out in December.
The Welsh are thought to have timed their announcements in
the belief that a final decision on the winning country for 2009 - the
north-east of England are the other bidders - would be made next week.
In fact, the two-day meeting wont be able to reach a
definitive judgement simply because the six-man committee of Phil Weaver, David
Huish, Jim Christine, Neil Coles, Angel Gallardo and John OLeary have so
many different assessments to make.
It is thought the Ryder Cup committees next meeting
will take place in May when the successful country is more likely to be
identified. The winning course wont be named until this years match
at the Belfry in September.
Recent events caused one Welsh campaign insider to complain
in an English newspaper this week that the Scots appear suspiciously well
informed about what was happening with the bid process and that any delays were
designed to let Scotland play catch-up.
Conspiracy theories have been aired before and the Welsh do
worry over the fact that not only are Ken Schofield, executive director of the
European Tour, and Sandy Jones, the chief executive of the PGA, Scottish, but
so are two members of the committee - Huish and Christine.
However, Tony Lewis, the Welsh chairman, insists he
believes in the fairness of the bidding. "Behind every door in golf and at the
end of every telephone is a Scotsman," said Lewis. "But I do believe
theres a level playing field. If the PGA give the match to us then they
will be able to reflect on how they brought a new dimension to European
golf." more Ryder Cup
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