Fans who braved the atrocious weather, dodged the puddles and tried to find shelter in south Wales yesterday paid for the privilege – and they will not be receiving a refund. Despite seven and a quarter hours of play being lost to rain at Celtic Manor, organisers have said punters can expect no money back.
Not one match was finished during the four hours of action, but a statement said: "Ryder Cup Europe confirms that, under the terms and conditions of the 2010 Ryder Cup, ticket holders are not entitled to a refund.
"Nevertheless we appreciate the patience and consideration shown by spectators today in the face of appalling weather conditions.
"An announcement will be made on rydercup.com following the conclusion of the 2010 Ryder Cup regarding ticketing opportunities on European Tour competitions in 2011 including the Celtic Manor Wales Open."
Rats off a sinking ship
"I feel like a drowned rat" was a popular description here yesterday, although considering the rodent cull it was also more than a little insensitive. Sky Sports admitted yesterday putting down poison to protect their grand 3D launch. Apparently the cables used contain animal fat which has enticed the rats to gnaw away. The satellite company acted fast, employing plastic covers as well as the poison. The 3D was safe and the spectators needn't have worried about being electrocuted. The rats, on the other hand, had left the ship. Sinking, or otherwise.
Anyone who wondered why the Swedish have pulled out of the bidding race to hold the 2018 Ryder Cup – if the 2010 version finishes on time, that is – need only have looked at this farce yesterday. If the authorities insist on holding "the third biggest sporting event in the world" so late in the year then there would obviously not be enough daylight in Scandinavia. So why waste all that money forming a bid that, even if it did succeed, would end in another Monday finish? As they say in Sweden, "Affär är affär" - business is business.
No smoke without fire
As the fans congregated outside the clubhouse yesterday waiting for the players to come out and sign autographs, so Miguel Angel Jimenez emerged. He pulled out a huge Cuban cigar, fired it up, looked up at the clubs, took a puff and laughed. The audience followed suit and for at least one moment there was a light in all that gloom. But what the fans didn't know was that Jimenez had been forced to come outside because of a fire-alarm incident. The 46-year-old apparently did not know there were alarms fitted in the team room. He soon did; as did the officials and staff who scrambled to turn it off before the fire brigade was dispatched.
Uefa officials have been spotted at Celtic Manor, leading to speculation that the Champions' League final will soon be coming to Cardiff. The Millennium Stadium almost landed it before, but missed out because of the room for hospitality. That shortfall has been addressed and the way seems clear. Doubtless the Uefa members were assured yesterday not to worry about the Welsh weather. The Millennium has a roof.
Whatever happens here and whenever it ends there will certainly be more watching the presentation that occurred at the rain-affected FedEx Cup in Atlanta last Sunday. When Jim Furyk was handed a cheque for $11.35m there were so few people in attendance it led one of the other players to comment: "Never has a person been handed so much money with so few watching since Elin Woods."
There's no substitute
Gleneagles almost won the right to stage the 2010 Ryder Cup. Just for the record all three courses were shut at the Scottish complex yesterday. Something about heavy rain.