The year ahead: Golf

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The Independent Online

From now on all even-numbered years are Ryder Cup years. Postponed due to the terrorist attacks in America on 11 September, the stands, tented village and merchandising marquees will once more be going up at The Belfry this autumn. Sam Torrance and Curtis Strange remain the captains, while the teams will be those selected last August, though how relevant they will be in nine months time is anyone's guess.

The match, still just about staged without the need for prize money, falls in-between two of the richest events on the calendar, both valued at £3.5m. The previous week a World Championship event visits Ireland for the first time, with the AmEx being played at Mount Juliet after its cancellation last year, while the week after all the pros and amateurs alike will be hoping for better weather in Fife and Angus for the Dunhill Links Championship.

There were far more rights than wrongs about the decision to postpone the Ryder Cup but an unfortunate side effect is the overshadowing of the Solheim Cup, which used to have the even-numbered years to itself. Expect talented youngsters to be pushing the established players for places as Europe go to Interlachen in the States to attempt to retain the Cup for the first time.

Youthful promise, too, on the men's side with Luke Donald (above) playing his rookie season in America and Nick Dougherty hoping to follow Paul Casey as the Rookie of the Year in Europe. The Open returns to Muirfield for the first time in 10 years, while the US Open will be played at a public facility for the first time, Bethpage in New York.

Prediction: Sergio Garcia wins the Open, Tiger Woods the US Open.

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