THE Ryder Cup may have come and gone but Sir Terry Matthews is as committed as ever to bringing top class sport to Newport.

The feel-good factor from last October’s stunning victory for Europe over the USA is there for everyone to see at the Celtic Manor.

And resort chairman Matthews is determined to keep that going.

The 2011 Saab Wales Open drew to a close on Sunday with Sweden’s Alexander Noren walking off with the £300,000 first prize and there are exciting plans for the annual European Tour golf tournament.

The event, which began at the Manor in 2000, is contracted to the venue until 2014 and a major revamp is planned after that.

A fourth course is at the planning stage and among the ideas being floated is a complete re-branding of the Wales Open to take over one of the iconic European Tour events currently without a home.

The Players Championship of Europe, last played in Germany in 2007, and the European Open could be brought back to life in the Usk Valley, although Matthews is keeping his cards close to his chest at present.

“We have to negotiate where we go from there (2014),” he said. “I have my plans in place but it is not appropriate this year to talk about them.

“It is economically tough times but we have a great field of play. The availability of top golfers from the European Tour is excellent, so it’s a tough one. Will the economy come back soon? I don’t think so. It is going to be a long haul.

“We have a title sponsor in Saab this year and we’re close to breaking even,” he added. “In the 12 years that we’ve been going if you add up all the losses it’s about £13m.

“It’s a pretty big investment but we’re persistent. We keep working at it and each year we crank it up.”

One thing is certain and that is Matthews’ desire to see the world’s top golfers back in Wales after the Ryder Cup and he wants the Wales Open moved forward a week to help in that aim.

“We all know this date is a little bit shaded by the US scene,” he said.

“I would like to have things one week earlier and then have the best players here. That’s what we are working towards.”

As well as a big commitment to golf, Matthews is turning his attention to hosting equestrian attractions, starting with the Elemis Polo at the Manor on Saturday, July 2.

“I work in 10-year blocks,” he explained. “In the past 10 years we’ve invested in the Montgomerie course, the Twenty Ten course, the clubhouse, we put a bridge over the river.

“The hotel is a little bit small now for the numbers of people wanting to stay here so in the next 10 years we’ll be extending the hotel.

“We’re planning to add a fourth golf course, we’re moving into equestrian sports, tennis events will come back.

“Newport is not the biggest city but the Usk Valley is very beautiful and what we’ve done here at the Celtic Manor is fantastic.

“People thought 30 years ago that I was crazy to build a resort here but now we’re rated as Europe’s top golf resort and the sport venue of the year for 2011.

“We’ve put Newport on the sporting map and Wales as well.

“Whoever said I’d take a back seat after the Ryder Cup is nuts.

“People are surprised when they see that the golf is continuing but of course we are carrying on. Once I commit to something I don’t back down.”