Wednesday 16 October 2019

McManus remains hopeful of Adare Manor's Ryder Cup bid

JP McManus. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
JP McManus. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Brian Keogh

JP McManus may have to wait a little longer to discover if Adare Manor is the chosen venue for the 2026 Ryder Cup.

The European Tour's CEO, Keith Pelley, said last November that he expected an announcement early this year, then said on the eve of the Masters in April that the choice of venue would be made "hopefully in the next two or three months."

Guy Kinnings, European Ryder Cup Director, was less specific at this week's US PGA at Bethpage State Park outside New York, and simply said that his goal was to announce the 2026 venue "this year."

A former senior vice president and chairman of golf at global sports agency IMG, Kinnings joined the European Tour 12 months ago as deputy chief executive and took over as Ryder Cup Director from Richard Hills.

The Ryder Cup is key to the success of the European Tour and Kinnings is currently making sure that the 2022 match in Rome goes ahead without a hitch. Irish golf course construction company, SOL Golf, is already advanced in its renovation of Marco Simone Golf Club.

"We had about a dozen expressions of interest in hosting the Ryder Cup straight after Paris," Kinnings said of the search for future venues. "Some were for 2026 but others are for 2030 and beyond.

"Believe me, we are really excited to reveal our plans for 2026 and we hope to make that announcement this year but right now we are still going through the process."

European Tour officials have met with Irish government representatives and, while Adare Manor is well placed to get the nod, there are rivals.

It is understood that The Belfry, which hosted the event for the fourth time in its history in 2002, is one of Adare's leading competitors.

The Birmingham venue has undergone significant refurbishment since Europe beat the USA 15½-12½ in 2002, with around €34 million spent on upgrading the entire resort.

Former European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley said earlier this month that while Ireland's bid for the 2026 Ryder Cup was in a strong position, "it's not over the line yet."

"There's still work to be done," said McGinley, who is a member of the Board of Directors of the European Tour.

Ireland hosted the Ryder Cup for the first time at The K Club in 2006 and, following huge investment in upgrading Adare Manor's hotel and golf course, owner McManus is hopeful that the Limerick resort will get the nod.

"It is every golf course owner's hope to get the Ryder Cup," he said last year when McGinley, Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy played an exhibition match to open the renovated course. "I am sure it will cost plenty. But I would like to bring it to Ireland, to Limerick and to Adare and give the whole south-west a boost."

Adare will host the JP McManus Pro-Am from July 6-7 next year with the four Irish stars as well as Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and actors Mark Wahlberg and Hugh Grant already confirmed.

Irish Independent

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