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Ryder Cup decision delays

The identity of the host country for the 2009 Ryder Cup match could remain a mystery until late spring even though the question will be discussed and reviewed later this month.

The north-east of England, Scotland and Wales are the three candidates, but European Tour spokesman Mitchell Platts said: "The Ryder Cup Board is keen to stress that no decision on the host nation for the 2009 match
has been taken.

"The Ryder Cup Board has been extremely impressed by the bids, all of which are being given total consideration, and they will continue a process of evaluation leading to an announcement in advance of the 2001 match in September."

Originally, the host country was due to be named in January with the venue being confirmed during this year's match at The Belfry.

The bid by north-east England, the least fancied of the three, centres around Slaley Hall, home of the Compaq Grand Prix on the European Tour, while the preferred Welsh venue is Celtic Manor. The Scottish bid, which is marginally the favourite, features five courses - St Andrews, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Loch Lomond and Gleneagles.

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