Ian Higgins talks about his greenkeeper role at 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor

Press Releasein Golf

Acting Deputy Course Manager Ian Higgins swapped the fairways of Thornbury Golf Centre for the turf of Celtic Manor recently as he spent 'the best week of his life' tending the greens for the Ryder Cup.

The 47-year-old, who lives in Thornbury, spent a week rubbing shoulders with the greatest golfers on the planet when he swapped his Thornbury overalls for official Ryder Cup gear.

He answered a call for experienced greenkeepers to help out at the event, which saw Europe regain the famous old trophy from the USA in a thrilling, but rain interrupted, match.

Higgins, who has worked at Thornbury for four years, was one of an extra 70 greenkeeping staff brought in by Celtic Manor to join its 64 staff, to ensure the course was kept in perfect condition for the three-day event.

And they needed all of that expertise as the heavens opened throughout the weekend, causing the match to go into a fourth day for the first time in its 83-year history.

"It started raining heavily on the Wednesday and then again on the Friday morning," said Higgins.

"We had 33mm of rain from 8pm on Thursday through till 2pm on Friday and the course was drenched.

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