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2009 Ryder Cup
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St Andrews pulls out of Ryder Cup reckoning

Mike Aitken, The Scotsman, 23 February 2001

St Andrews is to notify the organisers of Scotland’s Ryder Cup bid that it is pulling out of the contest to stage the 2009 match between Europe and the USA.

News of the Old Course’s withdrawal is expected to be confirmed today. It follows the unexpected development earlier this week when the Ryder Cup committee told the Scottish executive they had to trim their list of five candidates.

Since Wales and the north of England have each proposed just one venue - Celtic Manor and Slaley Hall respectively - the Scots must also whittle down their candidates before the Masters gets underway in April.

It’s an open secret that Scotland’s famous links courses are at the back of the queue for the Ryder Cup. While the Old Course is the most popular venue for the Open Championship, its chances of beating off more appropriate contenders for the 2009 match play event were always slim.

Whether the custodians of the links in St Andrews have decided to jump before they’re pushed is a moot point. At any rate, it will be interesting to see if the Old Course’s decision to fall on their own sword will be followed in Carnoustie and Turnberry.

Gleneagles and Loch Lomond, both home to European Tour events, are regarded as the front-runners for the Scottish vote. In Ryder Cup terms, the best package overall is probably to be found in Perthshire where wonderful scenery, a magnificent hotel and easy access set the venue apart.

Meanwhile Colin Montgomerie, fresh from his victory in Australia last week, made a solid start to the Caltex Singapore Masters, lying three off the pace behind England’s Warren Bennett and Padraig Harrington.

Monty started with three birdies, then had a string of ten consecutive pars, before an eagle saw him finish on five-under-par 66.

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