Ryder Cup baton handed to Scotland

02/10/2012 16:31:07
 First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond receives a ceremonial putter for the handover of host nation to Scotland  (Getty Images)
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond receives a ceremonial putter for the handover of host nation to Scotland (Getty Images)

As the curtain came down on Europe’s historic Ryder Cup triumph, focus was already turning to the next encounter as Scotland was handed the ceremonial baton of host nation of the next Ryder Cup.

The honour was passed over at the closing ceremony of the event at Medinah, Illinois, in the US on Sunday evening.

First Minister Alex Salmond accepted the ceremonial Silver Putter on behalf of Gleneagles, Perthshire, which will host the tournament in 2014.

The ceremony had a Scottish flavour to mark the return of the event to Scotland for the first time in around 40 years.

Classical violinist Nicola Benedetti and Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, lead vocalist in the animated film Brave, gave a live show of Scottish music, performing a new collaboration of traditional Gaelic material before a speech by Mr Salmond who welcomed the world to Scotland in 2014.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Mr Salmond thanked fans and volunteers for creating a "truly memorable Ryder Cup" and urged people to travel to Scotland for the next tournament.

He said: "Golf is coming home and so is the Ryder Cup. For it was in Gleneagles in 1921 that the first international match was played which inspired the Ryder Cup.

"But whether you come to Scotland before, during or after 2014, I assure you, you will feel the vibrancy of our culture, the awesome beauty of our landscapes and, above all, the warmth of our welcome.

"We are honoured to be succeeding Medinah, we are thrilled to be hosting the next Ryder Cup, and we are preparing to welcome you all to Scotland."

More than 250,000 spectators from all over the globe are expected to visit Gleneagles for the event, with millions more watching on television in more than 180 countries.

Dr Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "The closing ceremony at Medinah marked the start of Scotland's reign as the host nation of The Ryder Cup and we are determined to take full advantage of that fact.

"The £100 million boost the 2014 Ryder Cup will bring to the Scottish economy is obviously fantastic in its own right but we are working hard to make sure that Scottish golf and Scottish tourism will benefit from this magnificent tournament for years to come.

"There is no doubt 2014 will be a year unlike anything we've ever seen in Scotland, with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. In sport, Scotland plays on the world stage. Our journey to inspire the world to come and see the home of golf starts today."

During the ceremony a video titled Scotland's Getting Ready was shown, which featured people playing golf at various Scottish landmarks, such as teeing off from Glencoe and chipping into whisky barrels.

The ceremony was watched in an estimated 500 million homes in 183 countries worldwide.

Perth & Kinross Council leader Ian Miller said: "Perthshire is already known as a terrific golfing destination but in 2014, it will be on the map like never before.

"I know the people of Perthshire will embrace the event and help make it one to remember for a long time. But I'm also looking forward to local businesses welcoming the 2014 Ryder Cup and benefiting from the region hosting such an internationally renowned event."