The postponed Ryder Cup match will, as expected, now take place at The Belfry
on September 27-29 next year.
And as well as announcing the new date, the European tour confirmed on Wednesday
that after talks with the PGA of America and US Tour, the following three matches
at least will go back a year as well to 2004, 2006 and 2008.
It means that the first ever match on Irish soil, at the K Club near Dublin,
will now take place in 2006 rather than 2005.
The next two contests on American soil, at Oakland Hills in Detroit and Valhalla
in Louisville, switch to 2004 and 2008.
It has not yet been announced that this new two-year cycle will continue indefinitely,
Europe's Ryder Cup Committee has been evaluating bids this summer for what
was to have been the 2009 match, but now looks like being 2010.
The courses involved in the bidding process have been Celtic Manor in Wales
- the favourite after apparently receiving the support of European tour executive
director Ken Schofield - Slaley Hall near Newcastle and Scottish quartet Gleneagles,
Turnberry, Carnoustie and Loch Lomond.
Next week's match at The Belfry was called off on Sunday following the terrorist
attacks in America last week, but it was decided to postpone rather than cancel.
The new date announced for the match was the obvious one because the previous
week all the players involved should be at Mount Juliet in Ireland for the American
Express world championship, the event which was cancelled in St Louis last week
in the immediate aftermath of the events in New York and Washington.
The date could not be announced immediately, however, because talks had to
be held with the organisers of regular tournaments planned for that week.
The other complication was the President's Cup match between the United States
and the International side, which comprises players from the rest of the world
This was scheduled for South Africa in November next week and an announcement
is now expected on whether that moves one year as well to occupy odd-numbered
Those fans waiting for information both on what happens to the tickets they
held for next week's match and the process for purchasing tickets for next year
will have to wait another 36 hours, however.
The European tour statement said that the Irish government had been consulted
and had given their backing to the delaying of the match at the K Club.
It has already been decided that next year's contest will feature the same
24 players who would have played next week and the same two captains, Sam Torrance
for Europe and Curtis Strange for the Americans.
This has been agreed by both countries despite the obvious possibility of one
or more of the major championships being won by somebody who would not then participate
in the Ryder Cup.
The switch of the 2003 match to 2004 also means that qualification for that
match will not have started when next year's clash takes place.
The European tour is set to embark on a poll of players over the qualifying
system for 2004 following the controversy which surrounded the build-up to this
Torrance had to leave out two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal because,
having joined the US Tour, he was unable to earn enough points from the majors
and those European tour events he did play in to earn an automatic spot in the
Torrance was left with no option but to omit one of Olazabal, Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik.
Next week's match was effectively unable to go ahead because the American players,
shocked by the deaths of so many innocent people, felt the right place to be was
at home with their families and friends rather than on foreign soil playing golf.
Torrance and Strange were both in accord with the decision, Torrance calling
the postponement "common sense".