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Wales get 2010 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles 2014

Wales is to stage the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2010 - and Scotland in 2014.

The decision to award the 2010 match to Celtic Manor near Newport - and to a course which is not even built in its entirety yet - was announced on Friday by Europe's cup committee.

The multi-million pound complex owned by businessman Terry Matthews beat the Scottish quartet of Gleneagles, Turnberry, Carnoustie and Loch Lomond and also Slaley Hall near Newcastle, the only other club in the race and always seen as the outsiders.

But then came the compensation for Scotland. They have been assured that the 2014 match will go north of the border to Gleneagles.

The outcome comes as no surprise, especially as Scottish bid spokesman Gavin Hastings, the former rugby captain, virtually conceded defeat the result last week when he talked of the positives of having another four years to work on hosting the match.

Originally scheduled for 2009, the date has been pushed back a year along with the next three matches as a consequence of the postponement of the clash which was due to have been played at The Belfry this weekend.

After next year's match the following two matches in Europe will therefore both break new ground as Ireland play hosts in 2006 at the K Club just west of Dublin. Scotland has staged the match once before - at Muirfield in 1973.

The Wales Open has been held at Celtic Manor for the past two years, but only nine of the current championship holes will be used for the match.

In a £12million facelift two others are being redesigned and planning permission has been granted by Newport Borough Council for the construction of seven more.

They will specifically have the demands of the Ryder Cup in mind and enable 50,000 to watch the closing holes from natural amphitheatre banks.

"No other venue in the world offers this scale of uninterrupted viewing", has been the proud boast of the campaign team led by Tony Lewis, ex-chairman of the Wales Tourist Board and perhaps best known as the former England cricket captain.

The National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Development Agency threw their weight behind the bid and the hope is that it will transform the golfing landscape across the country.

"From the start this has been an all-Wales bid," said Lewis. "Terry Matthews has been our Pied Piper leading the way and now local and international businesses have followed his lead and are investing in the bid because they recognise the enormous economic impact that the event will have in Wales."

Celtic Manor is a 400-room, five-star hotel complete with 40 function rooms, a 1,500-delegate convention centre, four restaurants, two health clubs and three courses.

The expansion plans include a new clubhouse with purpose-built accommodation for the players, caddies and official parties, space for security, physiotherapy, tournament officials and administration personnel and also a state-of-the-art media centre overlooking the 18th green.

"In Wales we met or exceeded every single technical requirement for the Ryder Cup," added Lewis. "Nobody can better us for access, parking, hotel accommodation, spectator capacity and event management.

"We have not had to waste time on those requirements and so have been able to be more imaginative in our approach."

Work starts next month on the changes to the Wentwood Hills course with the intention of playing the 2004 Wales Open on the new lay-out.

But while Celtic Manor has the spotlight, the campaign organisers have stressed all along that it is their wider vision which set it apart from the other bidding courses.

"The golf courses of Wales are hidden in the mists of a suspicion that Wales is not a golfing country," stated Lewis. "Nothing could be more wrong."

He believes the awarding of the match will act as a catalyst to increase the profile of the sport in Wales.

"Wales is relatively under-developed in terms of golfing infrastructure. Wales wants the opportunity to reach a level achieved in Scotland, Ireland, England and other golfing nations.

"It's an ambitious vision which will benefit every level of golf in Wales." Andrew Morgan, chairman of the Welsh Golfing Union development committee, said: "We want the golfers of Wales to be girls, boys, women, men - the game to be truly and equally accessible to everyone.

"Even when people are in a position to afford membership fees they feel intimidated by the elitist image of the game.

"That scenario is changing, but we need to accelerate that change. we want to remove these barriers and we can do so with the provision of more public pay-and-play courses that are available to local communities."

Part of the requirement for a successful bid was the availability of at least 5,000 bedrooms within an hour's drive.

Celtic Manor secured 5,260 hotel rooms, with 4,072 more at universities in the area. Three cruise ships could increase the number further by being berthed in Cardiff Bay.

It was also announced that continental Europe will have the 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 matches.

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