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2009 Ryder Cup -
'revised' bidding procedure
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Verdict on 2009 delayed
Mike Aitken, The Scotsman, 14 February 2001
A decision on which country will host the 2009 Ryder Cup
match, and which course, will be disclosed in September - probably in the week
of the 34th match between Europe and the US at the Belfry.
It was always expected that the venue would be announced in
the autumn prior to the next staging of the most popular match-play event in
Confirmation of the successful country had been in line to
be revealed around the end of this month, but the Ryder Cup committee, which
met yesterday, wants more time to assess the merits of the bids made by
Scotland, Wales and England.
It is thought that the bodies which organise the Ryder Cup
in Europe - the PGA and the European Tour - held different ideas about when to
make a choice between Scotland, Wales and England. The PGA was initially
sympathetic to the wishes of the three bidders for a prompt decision; the Tour
saw no reason to rush, and was anxious not to overshadow this years
event, which will be contested from 28-30 September.
So much confusion has surrounded the bidding procedure, the
one thing which can be said in favour of the delay is that it lets everyone
know where they stand. "We welcome the clarification," a spokesperson for the
Scottish bid said. "We believe we have an unrivalled selection of venues, and
the Scottish Executive will continue to do everything possible to promote
Scotland for 2009."
A delegation from the Ryder Cup board will inspect
tournaments and courses at Slaley Hall, Celtic Manor, Loch Lomond and
Gleneagles in summer. Since the other Scottish candidates - Turnberry,
Carnoustie and St Andrews - are established Open venues, the board sees no need
to check their infrastructures, and one would guess those links are outsiders.
The latest development would also suggest that other Scottish courses, such as
Kingsbarnes and Muirfield, which had indicated a wish to be considered for
2009, but were not part of the official bid, are no longer in the running.
Sandy Jones, chief executive of the PGA, said: "The board
is deeply impressed by the high quality of all the bids. The board also wishes
further time to consider the bids in more detail. The board believes it is in
the best interests of all the candidates to discuss and refine the details of
all the bids.
"Once this process has been completed, the board will make
an announcement to the host country and venue at the same time. This is
expected to be in September this year, perhaps during the week of the 34th
match at the Belfry."
One participant who will be anxious to learn
Scotlands fate is Colin Montgomerie, who has revealed his desire to
captain the European team in 2009. He will swing back into action at the
Australian Masters tomorrow after meeting a sports psychologist in an effort to
control his feelings after he leaves the golf course.
Having healed a rift in his marriage to Eimear during the
winter months, Monty is determined to mend his ways, and consulted Hugh Mantle
at Liverpools John Moores University. The psychologist suggested ways in
which he can learn to switch off, and leave his feelings about golf on the
"Having survived a crisis in my marriage," Montgomerie
observed, "I really shouldnt find it that difficult to get over a 75 or a
74. A bad hole or a bad round is hardly the end of the world."
It will be interesting to see how this new-found sense of
perspective holds up in the heat of battle, say, finishing with a double bogey
at Augusta. But Scotlands leading golfer insists he wont take his
problems home any longer.
"When am I going to win a major? All I can say is that
Im as determined as ever," he said. "When it comes to winning
tournaments, having your personal life in order would seem to me to be a
million times more important than having your swing in the right groove."
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