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K Club named as 2005 Ryder Cup venue

DUBLIN, Ireland - The Arnold Palmer-designed K Club was awarded the 2005 Ryder Cup today, the first time the biennial competition between the United States and Europe will be held in Ireland.

Ken Schofield, executive director of the PGA European Tour, made the expected announcement, with the County Kildare club edging other top contenders Portmarnock, Druids Glen and Mount Juliet.

The 7-year-old club, officially known as the Kildare Hotel and Country Club, is located about 20 miles southwest of the Irish capital. It is the site of the European tour's European Open.

The course was developed by the Jefferson Smurfit Group, the Ireland-based international packaging company, with the thought of eventually holding a major international tournament.

"The importance of this event for Irish sport, Irish tourism and for the country as a whole cannot be overstated," said Dr. Michael Smurfit, chairman and chief executive officer.

"It will attract large numbers of visitors and will put Ireland at the front of world sporting stage for an entire week. It has been the club's ambition since 1990 to bring the event to Ireland and build a complex worthy of hosting the most prestigious golf competition in the world."

The 1999 Ryder Cup will be held Sept. 24-26 at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., with the 2001 event set for The Belfry in Birmingham, England, and the 2003 matches at Oakland Hills outside Detroit.

Following the Irish Ryder, the 2007 matches are set for Valhalla in Louisville, Ky. The PGA of America also has selected Medinah, located outside Chicago, as the site of the 2011 event.

Europe beat the United States 14½-13½ in the 1997 matches at Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain -- the first time the event was held outside the United States or Britain.