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Welsh 2009 Ryder Cup bid boosted

The Welsh bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2009 received a major boost yesterday when planning permission was awarded for the building of seven new holes at the Celtic Manor course.

The Welsh bid, which is facing competition from Scotland and the north of England, has been disadvantaged by the standard of Celtic Manor, and it was crucial that the backers were allowed to improve the golf course if the bid was to have a chance of succeeding. Rejection of the application would have severely dented their hopes of being named when Europe’s Ryder Cup Committee announce their choice in September.

Newport Borough Council yesterday confirmed that planning permission had been granted for construction of the seven holes at Celtic Manor. The plans also include redesigning two other holes and building a new clubhouse.

Tony Lewis, chairman of the Welsh campaign, said: "There is no doubt that this has greatly enhanced our bid."

The council decision enables Celtic Manor to use the £12million development to complete a layout which is tailored to a Ryder Cup.

The club’s project director, Andy Stanton, said: "It paves the way for the creation of an outstanding international golf course, giving Newport and Wales a venue on a par with the very best in the world. It is good news not only for golfers and golf fans. The development will also bring considerable benefits to the community as a whole by attracting tourism and creating jobs."

Four Scottish courses - Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Loch Lomond and Turnberry - are also in the running with Slaley Hall, near Newcastle.

The Ryder Cup Committee comprises three members of the European Tour and three from the Professional Golfers’ Association.

Tour executive director Ken Schofield - a Scot - has expressed a personal preference for Celtic Manor, but the PGA has insisted that no decision has been taken ahead of the official vote. In the event of a tie, PGA chairman Phil Weaver has the casting vote.


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