Golf: Ryder Cup - Belfry still the 2001 venue

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The Independent Online
European Tour officials yesterday denied reports that they were considering changing the venue of the 2001 Ryder Cup.

It has been rumoured that the traditional venue of The Belfry was to be replaced by Loch Lomond, which hosts the World Invitational event, but the PGA executive director, Sandy Jones, said he was "mystified" by the reports and that there was no possibility of any changes.

Jones said: "A million pounds has already been spent and there is a pounds 2.4m investment programme. There will be no discussions at all regarding the moving of the match.

"I was mystified and stunned at the reports today. I don't know where all this started.

"We have had a chat with Lyle Anderson [president of Loch Lomond] but that is beyond 2005.

"We are making changes to the course [The Belfry] specifically for the Ryder Cup in 2001."

The Belfry is the obvious choice for the next European venue. It is the home of the PGA which celebrates its centenary in 2001 and it has produced thrilling finishes in recent years.

It has already been decided that the Ryder Cup will be staged in Ireland in 2005 with the early front runners the K Club in Dublin, Portmarnock, and Mount Juliet.