SUMMER OF GOLF SET TO SIZZLE

23 Jan 2009

Ryder Cup Wales has today announced the dates and venues for its 2009 Summer of Golf programme.

Over the last eight years the events, which are part of the build-up to The 2010 Ryder Cup, have helped establish Wales as a leading European golf destination.

The Summer of Golf comprises seven events with venues from Anglesey in the North West to Monmouthshire in the South East.

John Jermine, Chairman of Ryder Cup Wales, said: "We have many wonderful courses and the tremendous quality of the entries for this year’s Summer of Golf events shows how much the players enjoy coming to Wales. 2009 promises to be our most successful season to date and we look forward to welcoming a record number of spectators to see our own Welsh golfers competing with the very best players in Europe – a thrilling prospect."

Every effort has been made to ensure that the whole of Wales will benefit from hosting The 2010 Ryder Cup and the Summer of Golf events provide golf fans, of all ages and standards, with a fantastic opportunity to watch international legends on their doorstep.

Teeing off this year’s programme is the Ryder Cup Wales Welsh Open Young Professional PGA Championship, supported by the Isle of Anglesey County Council, which will see the young stars of the future returning to Anglesey for the second consecutive year and to the test provided by the spectacular course at Bull Bay. In 2008 Astley Golf Centre’s Steve Parry was a worthy winner, playing excellent golf to clinch the title in challenging conditions.

An international field will line up at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport when The Celtic Manor Wales Open returns at the beginning of June to the host venue of The 2010 Ryder Cup. The tournament was played for the first time last year on the TwentyTen course and will give spectators a unique opportunity to see the best players in Europe playing the course built specifically to host The 38th Ryder Cup Matches between the USA and Europe.

Golf fans will have another chance to see world class international golf in June when the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open moves from Conwy in North Wales to Royal Porthcawl and from one from magnificent links course to another. The event promises to be one of the highlights in the 2009 golfing calendar with a line up that is expected to include Europe’s 2006 Ryder Cup winning Captain, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle who was twice a winner of a ‘Major’, Sam Torrance also a winning Ryder Cup Captain and other great players including Jose Rivero, Costantino Rocca and the defending champion, Peter Mitchell.

2008 saw, for the first time, Woosie and Lyle competing in the tournament when the Welshman was denied a popular home victory by England’s Mitchell who finished 2 shots clear to clinch his maiden European Seniors Tour title - and the biggest pay cheque of his career.

In July the Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort will again host the SWALEC Wales Challenge where we welcome back the stars of the future for what will be the fourth year at the venue for this event. The event, previously won by Welsh golfers Sion Bebb and Craig Williams, saw Michael McGeady in 2008 gain his maiden Challenge Tour victory, after a play-off with Joel Sjoholm.

The Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Welsh Open PGA Championship, which was held last year at Royal St David’s Golf Club, will move to St. Pierre Golf and Country Club in Chepstow where European Tour player Gary Houston will be defending his title. St Pierre has recently made a significant investment in the old course that will provide a great test for a top class field that will include many of our own club professionals.

In August, the S4C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe moves from West to North Wales where Royal St David’s will be the host after four years at Machynys Peninsula Golf and Country Club. The Championship links course in Harlech returns to the schedule after successfully hosting the Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open from 2001-2006 and is looking forward to one of the most lucrative events on the Ladies European Tour. Sweden’s Lotta Wahlin is expected to defend her title alongside England’s Laura Davies and Wales’ very own Becky Brewerton, who is expected, once again, to head a strong Welsh contingent.

The final event in the series takes place in September when the Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Welsh National PGA Championship will be held at Ashburnham Golf Club. A classic Welsh championship course with a great history, Ashburnham has been host to some of Wales’ top tournaments, including the Welsh Amateur Championship and the Home Internationals Team Championships.

In 2008, Trevor Jones landed the biggest win of his career when he took the Welsh National at Cyncoed (Cardiff) Golf Club, joining Welsh greats Ian Woosnam, Phillip Price and Brian Huggett, all past winners of this prestigious title.

Alun Ffred Jones, Minister for Heritage, said: "With the events programme that has been lined up by Ryder Cup Wales, it promises to be another excellent summer of golf. These events are a fantastic opportunity to showcase the world-class golfing facilities that we have here in Wales and to see some of Wales’ home-grown golfing talent, as well as well-known international golfers, playing some of our best courses."

Ryder Cup Wales ‘Summer of Golf’ Programme 2009

Dates Tournaments Venues

22 & 23 April Ryder Cup Wales Welsh Open Young Professional PGA Championship Bull Bay Golf Club, Isle of Anglesey

4 – 7 June The Celtic Manor Wales Open The Celtic Manor Resort, Newport

19 – 21 June Ryder Cup Wales Seniors Open Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, Porthcawl

23 – 26 July SWALEC Wales Challenge Vale Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort, Hensol, Nr Cardiff

28 – 30 July Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Welsh Marriott St. Pierre Golf & Open PGA Championship Country Club, Chepstow

6 - 9 August S4/C Wales Ladies Championship of Europe Royal St. David’s Golf Club, Harlech

2 - 4 September Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Welsh National PGA Championship Ashburnham Golf Club, Burry Port