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Greenkeepers st
The team of greenkeepers have been working around the clock (Getty Images)

Paramor praises greenkeeping staff

John Paramor, The European Tour’s Chief Referee, has praised the efforts of the dedicated team of greenkeepers who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the Twenty Ten Course is playable again.

By Paul Symes, www.europeantour.com

Heavy rainfall on Saturday night and Sunday morning forced play to be suspended until 1.30pm, meaning officials have no option other than to play the Singles session on Monday for the first time in Ryder Cup history.

But Paramor believes that without the round-the-clock commitment of the scores of full-time agronomers and volunteers, headed by The Celtic Manor Resort’s head greenkepeer Jim McKenzie, the situation might have been far worse.

He said: “The course is obviously still very wet, after the rainfall we had last night and this morning. But we have an enormous team of local greenkeepers under the care of Jim McKenzie, ably assisted by Richard Stillwell and his European Tour staff, plus a number of volunteers across Britain and indeed Europe, all of whom have pitched up at Celtic Manor to try to help with our efforts to get the course playable.

“When the rain was at its heaviest, it was obviously impossible for the guys to be out on the course and there wouldn’t have been much point anyway. But as soon as the rain lightened they sprang into action to start clearing the water and preparing all the surfaces for play, and I can’t praise them highly enough.

“Obviously we would’ve preferred to finish on Sunday, but on this occasion it just hasn’t proved possible. We’ve had other tournaments finish on a Monday before so this isn’t a first, although it obviously is a first for The Ryder Cup.

“We must never forget that golf is an outdoor game, so we’re at the mercy of the elements. When the rain has been as severe as we’ve experienced this week, then we’ve had to make contingency plans. There’s a fair chance that there would be a number of other courses in the United Kingdom and even Europe where we wouldn’t have been able to complete play on time this week.

“But we’re going to have 45,000 spectators today, and several thousand tomorrow, who will see a fantastic climax to The Ryder Cup. Unfortunately it’s just going to be 24 hours later than we had originally planned.”    

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