Ryder Cup LogoRyder Cup: Team USASeptember 22-24 2006, The K Club, Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Story Image KILDARE, IRELAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Chief Executive of the European Tour George O'Grady (L), Garda Superintendent Kevin Donohoe, and Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills (R) (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Plans in Place to Cope with Extreme Weather

The outlook at The K Club brightened this afternoon although Ryder Cup LLP stressed that it had a number of contingency plans in place should extreme weather conditions return to County Kildare.

Steven Franklin, Press Officer
20 September 2006

With the players back on the Palmer Course and thousands of spectators there to cheer them on, the outlook at The K Club brightened this afternoon although Ryder Cup LLP stressed that it had a number of contingency plans in place should extreme weather conditions return to County Kildare.

Among the contingencies is a plan to move Thursday’s opening ceremony indoors and scope to run the competition over into Monday, the world’s media were told during a press conference called to clarify the events of earlier in the day.

Strong winds had forced organisers to delay opening the huge Ryder Cup site at 6.30am this morning while they waited to inspect the area by daylight.

With 45,000 spectators anticipated, both Ryder Cup LLP and the Garda Siochána were quite clear that health and safety issues were paramount.

All structures were subsequently checked and loose impediments such as screens, fencing and flags secured. This safety work, combined with an improvement in the weather, allowed the site to reopen to staff at 9am and to the public at 10am.

George O’Grady, Executive Director of The European Tour, expressed satisfaction with how the grandstands and other structures had stood up to the early-morning battering by Hurricane Gordon, which brought down a number of trees on The K Club estate.

“The structures are exceptionally soundly built. The grandstands have all been double checked. We’ve been expecting high winds,” explained O’Grady.

“We’ve got the very best forecasting you can have, but it’s not an exact science when winds are swirling around like this.

“We’ve looked at the different contingencies and we’ve always incorporated the possibility of going into Monday. We do not need to visit that at the moment. We have time up our sleeve when Sunday comes. I think today’s weather was a one-off.”

Richard Hills, the Ryder Cup Director, said: “When we arrived on site this morning, wind speeds were in excess of 40 miles an hour. We began a review with our health and safety consultants and the principle contractors used for the construction of this site.

“In a period of time between 6.30am and just after 7.00am, we deemed that the site was unsafe at that time until further checks could be carried out in full daylight to ensure spectator safety.

“We went through a process which had preplanned with An Garda Siochána and the various consultants and agencies involved with the safety of the matches.”

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