Captain Montgomerie lifts The Ryder Cup (Getty Images)
Closing Cermony brings curtain down
The closing ceremony brought the curtain down on one of the most thrilling Ryder Cups in recent years, with Europe’s triumphant Captain Colin Montgomerie describing it as “the greatest moment of my golfing career”.
Sky Sports presenter Di Stewart opened proceedings by dubbing the day a “magical Monty Monday”, and few in the joyous crowd were inclined to disagree.
The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, the First Minister of Wales, then thanked the chairman and owner of The Celtic Manor Resort Sir Terry Matthews, before praising the sterling efforts of Jim McKenzie and his 110-man greenkeeping staff, who cleared 15 days worth of rain from the Twenty Ten Course.
They gave themselves a standing ovation – and rightly so – and the same privilege was afforded to the American Team, who were described as “great ambassadors for their country”.
Phil Weaver, board member and representative of Ryder Cup Europe, then took to the stage to present a silver engraved putter to Jim Remy, the President of the PGA of America, to mark the handover of The Ryder Cup from The Celtic Manor Resort to Medinah Country Club near Chicago, host venue for 2012.
After praising the Welsh people for their warm welcome and hospitality, Remy then handed over to America’s Captain Corey Pavin, who congratulated the European Team “for playing better than us – but only just”.
A clearly emotional Pavin also praised the “heart, resolve, sportsmanship and fine play” his 12 Team members had displayed in staging a stirring comeback on the final day, adding that he had been proud to captain the side, despite their narrow defeat.
His opposite number Montgomerie, who was welcomed to the stage with a raucous round of applause, labelled Pavin a “credit to golf” and his Team “a credit to their Captain”.
Turning his attentions to the host nation, he said: “We expected a great match, the eyes of the world were watching, and Wales definitely delivered.”
Montgomerie then moved onto the important role his Vice Captains played, labelling them the “best backroom Team in sport”.
But he reserved his highest praise for his 12-man Team. “They are 12 very special guys,” he said. “I asked them all to play with heart and passion, and by God they did.”