Ryder Cup venue unveils $750K in changes
NEWPORT, Wales – Europe captain Colin Montgomerie has had nearly $750,000 spent on preparing the Celtic Manor course in Wales to meet his specifications for the Ryder Cup in September.
However, many of the changes are subtle and do not follow the attempts to gain a distinct home advantage against the Americans made by his predecessors Ian Woosnam at The K Club in Ireland in 2006 and Sam Torrance at the Belfry in 2002.
The alterations, unveiled to the European golfing media on Monday, have been implemented despite the fact that the Celtic Manor course was built and opened for play for $8 million just two years ago.
Montgomerie has had many of the course bunkers deepened, had the rough made consistently thicker than its had been for the Wales Open on the European Tour in 2008 and 2009, and has insisted the greens be firmer and less receptive to spin.
“All along, Colin has insisted that he was not interested in gaining a home advantage,” said Jim Mckenzie, Celtic Manor’s director of golf courses.
“If Europe do regain the Ryder Cup he wants it to be because they have played the better golf and not because the course has been tricked up.
“And in all my dealings with Colin since he was appointed Europe’s Ryder Cup captain I have to say he has not been over demanding.”
McKenzie insists the changes made will make for a better Ryder Cup.
The European Tour’s top players will get their first taste of Montgomerie’s changes when Celtic Manor stages the Wales Open again from June 3-6.
As yet however, United States captain Corey Pavin has not revealed whether any of his potential team members will be competing in the $2.2 million event.