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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
tech
News
people
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

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'