With the closing of what is said to have been the longest and biggest Ryder Cup in history, Wales can start taking stock of the competition thought to leave a lasting legacy on the region.
First Minister Carwyn Jones stated that as the winning European and defeated American teams return home, the job of cashing in on the tournament starts.
Although inconvenienced by bad weather more than 50,000 supporters showed up at the Celtic Manor on each of the scheduled three days, and another 35,000 came to watch the last matches on Monday. “What a great event,” said Sir Terry Matthews, the billionaire owner of the Celtic Manor Resort who helped bringing the event to Wales.
US ambassador Louis Susman said that – apart from the weather – the event had been flawless: “The Ryder Cup helped showcase Wales,” he said. “The most important thing is that this event was handled flawlessly – if you’ll forgive me saying, other than the weather.”
Jones talked about the significant impact of the success of the event on the region at the closing ceremony; “… the challenge now is to build on it, to follow the leads we’ve had talking to business people and make sure that as far as we’re concerned it’s not just tourists who come to Wales in the future, and more of them, but that we get investment as well.” he said.
According to the Welsh Assembly Government the impact on Welsh golf, tourism and business was already being felt. It also mentioned the important contribution by the Ryder Cup to improving south-east Wales’ transport infrastructure.