AN IRISH GOLFER could sink the winning putt for the European Ryder Cup team today.
Captain Colin Montgomerie named Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell last night as his final two players in his line-up for today’s twelve singles matches at Celtic Manor. Should the points battle go right to the wire, Dubliner Harrington and Portrush man McDowell will be in the running to seal an increasingly likely victory for their team-mates.
In a surprise move, American skipper Corey Pavin made Tiger Woods wait for the eighth match to tee off against Francesco Molinari. Europe needs just five points to regain the trophy.
Heavy rain left the South Wales course waterlogged yesterday and the singles matches were postponed until 9am this morning. It will be the first time the Cup will finish on a Monday in its 83-year history.
The delay also means that many Ryder Cup ticketholders will miss today’s singles matches because they have to return to work. The competition’s organisers have ruled that only spectators with Sunday tickets will gain admittance to the course today and the tickets are non-transferrable to friends or family because they are personalised with photo ID.
Ed Kitson, the match director at Celtic Manor, responded to criticism from disappointed fans by saying that they could not risk opening the gates to new customers – as is the practice at rescheduled matches at Wimbledon – because of the danger posed to health and safety by potential overcrowding.
He told the Daily Telegraph:
We have had unprecedented weather conditions. It’s not like Wimbledon where they are all on hard standing. There are very wet conditions here on the golf course and we have got to try and manage, through the marshals and others, the safe movement of people through the golf course.