THE 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor is receiving rave reviews in the USA, with the lasting legacy organisers had hoped for seemingly not hit by the awful weather.
Almost 12 hours of play was lost as the heavens opened, prompting a fourth day in the Ryder Cup and a Monday finish for the very first time.
However, to everyone’s surprise, more than 35,000 spectators made it in to Newport for the thrilling finale, Europe edging to glory in the closest and most exciting climax to a Ryder Cup since 1991 at Kiawah Island, the last time the famous competition went down to the very last singles match.
Praise has already been widespread for the way the Ryder Cup was staged, and the reaction in America has been positively glowing after the thrilling climax that saw Wales and US Open champion Graeme McDowell win it for Europe in the very last match.
Louis Susman, appointed by Barack Obama as the US ambassador for Britain, expressed delight at the way the Ryder Cup unfolded.
“The Ryder Cup helped showcase Wales,” he said. “The most important thing is that this event was handled flawlessly – if you’ll forgive me saying, other than the weather.”
Much of the media coverage had been negative in the extreme over the weekend, but Monday’s thrilling play and confirmation that the extra day had a minimal impact on spectators, has most certainly changed that.
The Celtic Manor is now receiving widespread praise in publications such as USA Today, the LA Times and the New York Times.
“The first Monday finish in Ryder Cup history produced arguably the most exciting conclusion in 83 years of this biennial intercontinental dust-up, as Europe won the trophy by a single point despite an extraordinary comeback by Team USA,” the Wall Street Journal concluded.
Prime Minister David Cameron also got in on the act, commenting: “After a stormy weekend, we will long remember the drama of the first ever Ryder Cup Monday played in the Welsh sunshine.
“Well done also to the crowd at Celtic Manor who more than played their part.”
Resort owner Sir Terry Matthews praised his staff for their efforts over the unprecedented four days, already confirming to the Argus that the Celtic Manor would like to be considered for the 2022 or 2026 Ryder Cups.
“Why not? We’d love to have the Ryder Cup here again, we’re the only resort in Britain custom-built to stage it and while we appreciate it belongs to the whole of Europe, we hope we have created a situation where Wales can always contend with England, Scotland and Ireland to stage the Ryder Cup,” he said. (The 2018 Ryder Cup set to be outside of the UK).
Away from the eulogising of Wales, the majority of headlines since the Ryder Cup’s conclusion have been in praise of captain Colin Montgomerie, the eight-time Ryder Cup player confirming Europe’s victory on Monday as “the greatest moment of my career.”
Montgomerie has confirmed he doesn’t want to remain as captain, Jose Maria Olazabal yesterday throwing his name in the ring to do the job at Medina, USA in 2012, a move fully endorsed by Monty.
“I would love to do it,” Olazabal said. “It all depends on my physical situation, but it’s much better than it was a few months ago.”
Montgomerie said: “I do hope Jose Maria will be well enough to be the next captain. “He did brilliantly as one of my assistants here and it was also only right that we had a picture of him and Seve (Ballesteros) in our team room and then at the closing ceremony.
“It was between him and me for the captaincy this time and in two years’ time he’ll be 46, just a year younger than I am now.”