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Ryder Cup Notebook: Ireland unveils four new Ryder Cup postage stamps

Plus, Bernhard Langer presents a golf grant in his native Germany, several companies are named as official event partners, and more.

PGA.com news services
September 28, 2005

Four new postage stamps celebrating the contribution of Irish golfers to The Ryder Cup and Ireland's hosting of the event next year have been unveiled. The stamps are part of An Post's Commemorative Stamp Program for 2005 and 2006.

Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley, who played in Europe's victory over the United States last year, are featured on a 48-cent stamp, while a second 48-cent stamp features photographic portraits of Eamonn Darcy, Christy O'Connor Jr. and Philip Walton.

Christy O'Connor Sr., who played in 10 consecutive Ryder Cups, Ronan Rafferty and the late Harry Bradshaw are shown on a 60-cent stamp, while a 65-cent denomination shows a photograph of The K Club's 18th hole with the clubhouse in the background.

An Post also has launched a special booklet for golf enthusiasts and the corporate market containing four of each new stamp alongside detailed background information about Ireland's involvement in The Ryder Cup.

An Post expects strong interest in the stamps and special booklets from philatelists and golf enthusiasts worldwide. The new stamps and booklet may be viewed or purchased at www.irishstamps.ie.

BJORN FROWNS ON SCHEDULING PROPOSAL: Staging the 2006 HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in England a week before the Ryder Cup is a bad idea, said European Ryder Cup player Thomas Bjorn.

"I've heard talk about it going the week before the Ryder Cup. If it did, I think it would limit the field," said Bjorn.

"I don't think you would want Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods playing a 36-hole final before the Ryder Cup," he explained. With four straight days of 36-hole matches, "this is the most tiring event you could ever play, that's for sure. When I lost to Ernie [in the 2004 finals], I was really tired -- it was hard to get going that morning and when I woke up, I was 4-down."

That kind of event is hardly the way to arrive fresh for the Ryder Cup -- easily the most grueling mental challenge of the golf calendar -- Bjorn insisted.

LANGER PRESENTS FIRST AWARD: Bernhard Langer, the captain of the victorious 2004 European Ryder Cup Team, recently made the first charitable donation of $50,000 on behalf of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust (RCEDT) to Deutsche Kinderhilfe Direct (DKD) in Germany.

The RCEDT, set up in April 2004, is a registered charity whose objective is to further develop golf across Europe. It is controlled by the PGAs of Europe, which comprises 29 member countries and is a partner in Ryder Cup LLP.

Deutsche Kinderhilfe Direct is a benefactor of the German Children?s Aid Foundation Direct, which cares for sick and underprivileged children throughout Germany and supports institutions in the Cologne area. The RCEDT accrues profits from the Ryder Cup in a tax-free method to maximize funds to contribute to golf projects across Europe from grass roots to professional level.

"The DKD has developed its own 'Kidswing' program to establish a new form of therapy for physically challenged children," said Langer. "The involvement of these children in golf, with special trained golf professionals, and the appropriate equipment and facilities, can help to improve their condition and increase their self esteem."

SEVERAL OFFICIAL PARTNERS ARE ANNOUNCED: Stena Line has been appointed the preferred supplier of ferry services to the 2006 Ryder Cup, while Pro-Quip has become the preferred supplier of weatherwear for the 2006 European team and BMW has been named the official car for the 2006 Ryder Cup, officials have announced.

Stena Line is one of the world's largest ferry operators, and officials plan to use it whenever possible as part of the
logistical effort required to transport equipment to the largest sporting event ever staged in Ireland. Stena Line also will carry ticket holders between the United Kingdom and Ireland via its five Irish Sea routes.

ProQuip will provide all the wet-weather clothing for the European team and backroom staff. The company was founded in 1981 in North Berwick, Scotland, and has been an official supplier to the European Tour and, on eight occasions since 1985, as the preferred supplier of weatherwear to the European Ryder Cup team.

BMW's agreement with the Ryder Cup comes on top of its partnership with the European Tour as the title sponsorship of the annual BMW Championship in England, the BMW Asian Open in the Far East and the BMW International Open in Germany. Earlier this year, BMW became the official car of the European Tour.

Under the terms of the agreement, BMW will provide a fleet of 30 courtesy cars for the players and officials during the Ryder Cup. BMW also will supply several BMW X5 Event Support Vehicles to be used by staging staff and as evacuation vehicles in the event of inclement weather.

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