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Tour News (posted 26th August 1998)

Irish 2005 Ryder Cup details revealed


Munich, Germany - The PGA European Tour has signed an agreement for Ireland to host the 2005 Ryder Cup, tour officials announced this week.

Venues for the Ryder Cup will be announced sometime after the U.S. Masters championship in April, the officials said. Only courses that hold major events in Ireland or European tour competitions are under consideration.

The agreement includes an eight-year plan to promote the event, along with tourism in the country. The tour will be paid $12.2 million for providing marketing and promotion opportunites.

The money will come in equal amounts from the government of Ireland and three major sources, Aer Lingus, Allied Irish Banks and Waterford Crystal.

The decision that Ireland would be the Ryder Cup host nation for 2005 had been announced in September at the 1997 event held at Valderrama, Spain, but no details had been released..

One goal of the promotional activities is to help the country become a leading international golf destination, said Ireland tourism director James McDaid.

"My prediction is that by is that by 2005 we will have at least 500,000 golfers visiting Ireland annually, a doubling of present numbers," said McDaid.

He expects the golfers to provide a boom to the country's tourism industry. Ireland's visitors have tripled since 1986, from 1.7 million to an estimated 5.4 million this year.