More rain leads to Ryder’s first Monday finish
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Play is scheduled to resume at 1:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. EST).
Singles matches will begin at 9:05 a.m. local time Monday morning.
NEWPORT, Wales – It’s official – the 38th Ryder Cup is a disaster!
The sign hanging on the Celtic Manor gates reads “Course Closed.” Fans can’t even get through those gates. They’re stuck in their cars at Park and Ride stations miles from the golf course. It isn’t safe for them to be on the grounds. There’s a danger they might step into a puddle and disappear into a swamp. Besides, this course couldn’t take it. There’s not much grass left off the fairways, just mud.
Rivers were running down the 18th fairway at 7:30 am. The putting surface was flooded, and it’s a raised green. Temporary lakes dotted the landscape as if this was a rice paddy and not a golf course.
Sunday play is all but ruled out in this Ryder Cup. An announcement was expected at 11 a.m. British time, with play to get started at noon at the earliest. That’s wishful thinking. Celtic Manor is just one big boggy mess. If they do get play started, there won’t be much of it.
“There is an enormous storm cell sitting out in the north Atlantic, the same one that affected us on Friday, and we are slap, bang in the middle of it,” said John Paramor, the European Tour’s chief referee.
“We are told it will ease off between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. or 10.30 a.m., and then we will probably need an hour or a hour-and-a-half to make the course playable again. There is absolutely no point in greenkeeping staff being out there now.
“It now looks as though we will definitely be playing tomorrow, but we are hopeful that we will finish the third session today and then it will be a case of when we start the singles.”
A Monday finish will be a first for the Ryder Cup. It hasn’t happened in the 83 history of the match.
Where do you start apportioning blame for this mess? Do we blame the PGA Tour for insisting the FedEx Cup series had to finish before the Ryder Cup? Is the European Tour culpable for kowtowing to the PGA Tour’s wishes? Do we blame the European circuit for taking Sir Terry Matthews’ money, and holding this event on a course ill-suited for the sort of inclement weather all too common in this part of Wales at this time of year?
The responsibility is collective, and the negatives are far reaching.
The Welsh Tourist Board has spent years working on the Ryder Cup, hoping the match would promote much needed tourism in the country. That isn’t going to happen. The millions watching this Ryder Cup on television are hardly going to be attracted to Wales by images of mud and torrential rain.
Celtic Manor doesn’t come out of this in great shape either. Golf fans are hardly going to rush to book tee times on the Twenty Ten course for the same reason tourists aren’t going to book holidays.
Most importantly, the Ryder Cup is tarnished. If ever there was an argument for taking the match back to traditional links courses, then this is it. Royal Porthcawl, just 40 miles away, could have weathered the elements far, far better than this American layout.
There’s a reason why our golf forebears played by the sea.
Disaster. That words sums up the 38th Ryder Cup.