A unique week in Ryder Cup history ended in triumph at the Celtic Manor Resort with the arrival of the trophy after a helicopter tour of more than 100 Welsh golf clubs.
The trip proved a smash hit with golfers across the Principality who, over the seven days, turned out in their thousands to catch a sight of the iconic gold trophy.
Most importantly the SubAir sponsored tour has increased the profile of Tenovus, the official charity of Ryder Cup Wales 2010,with clubs pledging to support the cancer charity.
PGA captain Parnell Reilly, who accompanied the trophy to every club, admitted he had been stunned by the reception at each and every one of the clubs with spontaneous applause and cheers breaking out on sight of the famous cup. He also revealed that during the visits they had collected more than £5,000 in loose change alone for Tenovus.
The party’s final destination was the Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten Club House, on day four of the Wales Open. On hand to greet Reilly were rugby great Gareth Edwards and Celtic Manor owner Sir Terry Matthews.
It brought the curtain down on a trip that began amid blustery conditions at Cardiff Airport where another Welsh legend Barry John had waved them off. During the week, the helicopter became a familiar sight at Welsh clubs, swooping out of the skies to be greeted with glee by golfers – young and old – all excited to see it at such close quarters.
“It has been the best week I‘ve ever had,” said Reilly. “As captain of the PGA I get to go to the Masters, the Open and Ryder Cup but this week has just been unbelievable in terms of the welcomes we‘ve received from all the clubs.
“We‘ve also been able to give an insight to Wales 2010 and Tenovus, and all clubs have promised to support the charity over the next few years so the whole week has been perfect.”
Rob Holt, chief executive of RCW2010 added, “We always said that the Ryder Cup was more than three days in 2010 and this week has proved that.”
The tour is illustrated on an interactive website www.pgarydercuptour.com