Ryder Cup LogoRyder Cup: Team USASeptember 22-24 2006, The K Club, Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Story Image (L-R) Scott Kelly, European Tour Marketing Director, Andy Morgan, President of the European Golf Association and Andy Ingram, Captain of the European Junior Ryder Cup Team during the launch of the the 2006 Junior Ryder Cup. (Photo: Getty Images)

Welsh Captains aim for Ryder Cup double

Ian Woosnam and Andy Ingram will be aiming to pull off an historic golfing double success later this year as respective Captains of Europe's Ryder Cup and Junior Ryder Cup Teams.

05 July 2006

Ian Woosnam and Andy Ingram will be aiming to pull off an historic golfing double success later this year as respective Captains of Europe's Ryder Cup and Junior Ryder Cup Teams.

This year is the first occasion that two people from the same country have captained Teams in both matches. While Woosnam aims to lead Europe to an unprecedented third successive Ryder Cup victory at The K Club in Ireland, Ingram also hopes to guide his charges to a successful defence of The Junior Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.

Both Welsh Captains were in attendance at The Celtic Manor Resort, where the 2006 Junior Ryder Cup contest will take place early in Ryder Cup week over the Roman Road course on Monday, September 18 and Tuesday, September 19.

Woosnam, the third Welshman to be named Ryder Cup Captain, has played eight times in the biennial event and has accumulated 29 titles in a glittering career on The European Tour International Schedule, including the 1991 Masters Tournament. In May, the 48-year-old who grew up at Llanmynech reached the remarkable milestone of 500 events on The European Tour International Schedule during the BMW Championship at Wentworth Club.

Ingram is a former captain of the Welsh Boys team and the senior Welsh side from 1999 to 2003. Under his inspired leadership in 2002, Wales recorded their first victory in the amateur Home Internationals for 70 years.

He said: "It was a wonderful honour to captain The Junior Ryder Cup side in 2004 and an even bigger one to be given the chance to defend the trophy close to home at The Celtic Manor Resort in September.

"We were overwhelmed by the hospitality and courtesy we received in America two years ago and Sir Terry Matthews has promised both teams of an unforgettable experience here in four months time."

Woosnam said: "I would like to congratulate Andy Ingram on being The Junior Ryder Cup Captain. There is nothing quite like being a Captain to represent your continent and I wish Andy and the Juniors the best of luck and hope they bring back the trophy.

"I am sure Andy will do a great job and it would be lovely if two Welshmen could be winning Captains in the same week."

Guests at a Media Conference at The Celtic Manor Resort watched a three-minute promotional video featuring coverage of the four previous Junior Ryder Cups which followed an inaugural exhibition match at three venues in New York State during the week of The 1995 Ryder Cup.

Andy Morgan, President of the European Golf Association, commented: "The Junior Ryder Cup is an outstanding breeding ground for the next generation of golfers and it is satisfying to see so many youngsters who have played in the match go on to make an impact in the game."

Zac Gould, 17, one of Welsh golf's most exciting young prospects and a former European Young Master Golfer, was part of the successful European Junior Ryder Cup Team which defeated the United States 8 ? - 3 ? at Westfield Group Country Club in Ohio in 2004.

Qualification for this year's Junior Ryder Cup -- for golfers under the age of 16 on January 1, 2006 -- will be based upon the leading five boys and five girls at the European Young Masters, which will take place at Styrian Golf Club in Austria from July 27-29, with Ingram completing the line-up with two Captain's picks.

Sergio Garcia won the inaugural European Young Masters at Wentworth Club in England in 1995, thereby qualifying for the first European Junior Ryder Cup Team which travelled to Rochester, New York State, in September that year. Garcia was the first player to represent Europe in both that junior and senior Ryder Cup Teams and has been hugely supportive of the event ever since his arrival on the scene in 1995.

The Spaniard has met and welcomed every subsequent Junior Ryder Cup Team, posing for photographs and signing autographs, for the next generation of golfing stars.

The Junior Ryder Cup has provided a vital stepping stone in the career of Spain's Paula Marti, who played in home soil at the San Roque Club in Spain in 1997, when the USA recorded their only success by 7-5. Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts also played in 1997 and 1999 before graduating to The European Tour.

Europe's Ryder Cup Director, Richard Hills, commented: "We are delighted to welcome both Captains -- Ian Woosnam and Andy Ingram -- to The Celtic Manor Resort to help to promote The Junior Ryder Cup.

"The PGA of America and The European Tour are delighted that the Junior Ryder Cup has become an integral part of Ryder Cup week. The contests are always played in a wonderful spirit, fostering close relations between the two continents and providing the perfect launch pad for a glorious weeklong celebration of team golf."

Europe has won the last three Junior Ryder Cups, beating the Americans 10 1/2 - 1 1/2 at Cape Cod, Massachusetts; 9 1/2 - 2 1/2 at The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland, in 2002 and 8 1/2 - 3 1/2 in Cleveland, Ohio, two years ago.

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