October 1st, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Is the wet Ryder Cup America's fault?

A rain-drenched Ryder Cup in the Welsh resort of Celtic Manor.
A rain-drenched Ryder Cup in the Welsh resort of Celtic Manor.

Nick Faldo didn’t get much right when Europe lost the Ryder Cup two years ago, but he was spot-on when he said of the next match in Wales "bring your waterproofs".

I stood out and watched the opening tee shots this morning and, within minutes, I was absolutely drenched. Even my waterproofs were of minimal protection. My phone short-circuited with all rain pouring off my hands and I’ve spent the afternoon jostling with other journalists to hang my jacket in front of the hot-air blowers in the media center.

The conditions were inconvenient for the American players too. So inadequate was their wet-weather clothing that PGA officials were forced to rush into the merchandise tent to purchase proper gear for their men. The problem was fixed, but it was surely a blow a to team morale.

The forecast was always miserable for today. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t already been raining for much of the week. The course was saturated before the last group had even teed off and with bunkers, greens and fairways well and truly flooded, play was suspended for the first time in 13 years at 0942 am local time.

It’s a great shame. A shame for the players, some of whom regard the Ryder Cup as a career high; a shame for the 45,000 people that paid good money to be here, and it’s hugely disappointing for the marketing board who were hoping to promote the beauty of Wales to the world this week.

One of the world’s most intense sporting competitions, which has been hyped-up for two years (and a decade in Wales), is at the mercy of the weather over the coming days. We can expect the competition to run until Monday, thus seriously affecting global viewing figures, and there may even be compromises to get it finished.

Could it have been avoided? Well, maybe. The Ryder Cup used to be played in September, but has been pushed back into October because of the FedEx playoff series in America. By all accounts, the weather in Wales was fine last week. One of world sport’s most cherished contests has to play second fiddle to the PGA tour.

I’ve heard some mutterings this week that it should it never have been held in Wales at all. For all that Ryder Cup golf has been played by "Europe" since 1979, only once has it been played outside Great Britain and Ireland – at Valderrama in Spain. Gleneagles in Scotland will host it in 2014, but in eight years time it definitely will be staged on the continent.

France, Holland, Spain, Germany and Portugal are in the running and – given that play was also suspended in Spain back in 1997 – I wonder if the Portuguese bid team from southern (and sunny Europe) are feeling a little more confident this week.

The rain isn’t anyone’s fault, and you certainly can’t blame Celtic Manor that it eventually all collected on their 2010 course. Where questions will surely be asked is of the U.S. team’s choice of wet-weather clothing. They heeded Faldo’s warning, but sadly didn’t ask him exactly what kind of waterproofs they should bring.

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Filed under:  Golf
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. M Cowlishaw

    Your reporter needs to check his geography; much of Spain is hotter and drier than Portugal! They are both on the Iberian peninsula ...

    October 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  2. Malty

    Typical opportunist for US-bashing. Blaming the weather woes on the PGA tour. What's next? Blame US for volcanos and earthquakes?

    October 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  3. Laura

    It's really sad that when Wales finally gets a chance to be put on the map, instead of England all the time, our weather seems to be the main focus of people's attention.

    I really hope that tomorrow will be better weather, because it's such a beautiful country and most locals are hospitable and easy to talk to, it would be such a shame if the 2010 Ryder Cup was remembered as a wash-out.

    Cymru am byth (Wales forever)


    October 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  4. jon

    Wow, really? You go to the UK and whine about the rain?
    What a bunch of sissies.
    For the players, golf is simply man vs. nature, but then nature offers some extra resistance and everyone's crying?
    For the audience, if you paid to get to the UK and were silly enough to think it'll never rain... wow.

    October 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Reply

    i agree. the overblown fedex cup.
    and paying 10 million to a player in this economy ?
    whats next the u.s. open in december.

    October 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  6. Olof A

    Yep, on average October is actually wetter in Portugal than in Spain...

    October 1, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  7. Deepwater805

    Another reporter with nothing to say, but still managed to write a hatchet job anyway. Sounds like the rain not only took out his phone, but his brain as well.

    October 2, 2010 at 7:51 am | Reply
  8. alehandro

    So it rained. Who cares? The Ryder Cup is way overblown in terms of its importance to the world of sport. Golf is still a game cherished by over fed, middlle-aged, middle class white business men in baseball caps. Golf doesn't matter to the majority of the sporting public, and the Ryder Cup even excludes a large chunk of the game's devotees in
    golf crazy Japan and South Korea so it's not even globally relevant to those who follow the sport. Play it on a mid summer's day in board shorts and tank tops, you'll still get the same audience, so let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

    October 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  9. ryan

    typical TV getting in the way of sport instead of helping it.

    October 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  10. Taff

    British weather arrives from the USA and is the end product of your hurricanes. Every raindrop that arrives in Wales has a Made in America logo.!

    By the way it is raining all over the British Isles this weekend Ireland, England and especially Scotland no matter what the Jocks try to say its wet, wet wet in Loch Lomand. (Gleneagles October 2014 book now)

    October 3, 2010 at 11:18 am | Reply
  11. Jake C

    Taff, in fact the sun was shining most of the weekend in Ireland (as it is today). Therefore Wales was somewhat unlucky to have experienced the nasty weather it did.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  12. robert

    Can't blame the weather coz it affected all the players and the US started on a good footing, they should have kept the pressure.

    October 5, 2010 at 11:15 am | Reply
  13. online store

    You know what… thank you for your post, I don’t concur with you exactly but I agree with it on the most part and I certainly applaud your efforts in trying to put it so succinctly.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply

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