Deluge at Manor raises Ryder Cup fears

If Celtic Manor becomes flooded in the first week in June, then imagine what could happen in the first week of October. Never mind the Gortex, it is frogmen uniforms the American Ryder Cup team should consider decking out in stars and stripes.

Nick Faldo's infamous "bring your waterproofs" comment at last year's closing ceremony was inevitably revisited in the locker rooms here yesterday as the heavens opened and the Wales Open closed for business. In all, nearly six-and-a-half hours were lost because of the heavy rains and as the green-keeping staff set about clearing the fairways of huge puddles and repairing washed-out bunkers it was impossible not to speculate about the conditions in 16 months' time when the most-watched event in golf comes to Newport.

Last night the organisers were trying to utilise the hours of summer light to complete the third round of this tournament. Of course, at the Ryder Cup there will be no such luxury; well, no summer light anyway. In fact, even if the Weather Gods so smile on the Manor the schedule contains very little slack, particularly if the matches go to the last green. It would not take much to push the biennial spectacular into a Monday finish. Although during this grim scene the word "Tuesday" was even being mentioned.

In fairness, Wales did suffer freakish weather in yesterday's early hours that lasted all the way through to midday. Some 32mm of rain fell between 2.30am and 6am and then another 15mm thereafter. "It is very, very unusual to get that amount in such a short period of time," said Jim McKenzie, the Celtic Manor's director of golf. "We are actually very chuffed that we managed to go from unplayable to playable within just one hour of the rain stopping. In the past it would have taken five or six hours. It is testimony to all the drainage work we did over the winter."

McKenzie confirmed that these improvements will continue right up until the match and expressed optimism about the Ryder Cup completing on time. "It will be easier to get play restarted because today we had to cater for 70 players on the course," he said. "Matchplay is easier to manage and in the last few years October here has been very dry."

Still, the fact that in just its second year of hosting the Wales Open the Twenty10 course had experienced its second delay (last year it was fog) was just bound to set off the whisperers. And so it should have. For nobody but the money men can offer any logical reason why the Ryder Cup should be hosted so late in the year – in a valley, of all things. Apart from their diligent updating of the drainage system, then all Celtic Manor and the European Tour can do is pray.

What Corey Pavin, the American captain, truly made of it all as he tried to improve his backmarker position yesterday remained unknown, although perhaps it is telling that he is returning in October for another, probably more relevant, reconnaissance mission. By then he expects the formation of his captaincy philosophy to be well underway.

He will not just be adopting the Paul Azinger blueprint which drew so many plaudits in Kentucky last September. "What Zinger did, Zinger did and what I'll do, I'll do," said Pavin. "I'm going to have my own style." Nevertheless, he will take extensive advice from his predecessor, although he is not about to leave it there.

The player they called "The Bulldog" was an assistant to Tom Lehman at the 2006 match in Dublin and was impressed by his friend's leadership, if not by the top-heavy result. So just like Lehman, Pavin has asked for an audience with John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach. "There are a couple of other coaches from other sports I will consult," revealed Pavin. "I'm also going to talk with CEOs from some of America's big companies, because that sort of person is so used to dealing with people and with making the big decisions." They could also tell him how to float a company. Could be useful here.

Tip of the week

No 4: Plugged-Lie Bunker Shot

This shot is entirely different to a normal bunker shot, with very little finesse required – simply getting the ball out and on the green will suffice. This shot should be played with a sand or lob wedge, as the set-up will reduce the natural bounce of the club and encourage a digging action. Play the ball opposite the right foot (for right-handed golfers) with the weight strongly favouring the left side. With the hands positioned well ahead of the ball, pick the club up steeply with a good shoulder turn. Then hit down hard just behind the ball. If the shot is executed correctly, there should be little or no follow through and the ball should pop up over the bunker lip and on to the green. Remember to dig for glory, don't scoop it out...

Simon Iliffe, Head Professional, Purley Downs GC, Surrey

Suggested Topics
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower