Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher creates 2008 Ryder Cup Advisory Committee

Press Release Date:  Thursday, June 30, 2005  
Contact Information:  Carla Blanton
Michael Goins
Jodi Whitaker

FRANKFORT, KY. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced a formation of a committee to oversee preparation for the 2008 Ryder Cup in Louisville. 

The 16-member panel will be tasked with making sure that the state is fully engaged in making the tournament a success and ensuring that Kentucky and the city of Louisville receive significant exposure and economic impact from the thousands of visitors expected to visit the commonwealth during the Ryder Cup tournament, scheduled for September 2008 at Valhalla Golf Club.

“The Ryder Cup is one of the world’s premier sporting events,” Governor Fletcher said. “This committee will make sure our state is a good host to our visitors from around the world.  We want to take full advantage of this very rare opportunity to market Kentucky and showcase what we have to offer to the global community.”           

A recent study by the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau revealed that $77 million was pumped into the local economy in direct visitor spending and $114 million in gross economic impact to the Detroit area when the Ryder Cup tournament took place at Oakland Hills Country Club in 2004.

“The study found 67 percent of the attendees were visiting the area for the first time, and that 62 percent of those said they would visit the area again. We’re hoping for the same results,” Governor Fletcher added.

Governor Fletcher selected Secretary Gene Strong, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, to chair the committee, which will be attached to the Kentucky Sports Authority. The panel is made up of individuals from business, broadcasting and government with a common interest and love for the game of golf.

Also appointed to the panel are: Jim Host, secretary, Kentucky Commerce Cabinet; Myra Blackwelder, former professional golfer and member of the Kentucky Sports Authority: Ralph Hacker, former announcer for the University of Kentucky sports network; William Summers, IV, deputy mayor, Louisville Metro; Steve Langford, vice president and general manager, WAVE-TV; John Taylor, president, PNC Bank-Ohio/Northern Kentucky region; Ray Ball, president, Ball Homes, Inc.; Jimmy Dan Conner, vice president, BB&T Insurance Services and former captain of the 1975 University of Kentucky basketball team; Junior Bridgeman, owner/president, Bridgeman Foods, Inc.; Stan Curtis, vice-president, Hilliard Lyons, Louisville; Jim Wiseman, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc.; Bill Lear, Managing Partner, Stoll, Keenon & Park, LLP; Royce Pulliam, CEO, Global Fitness Holdings & Mia Development Company:Richard Cleary, Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC;  Jim Bareuther, executive vice-president & chief operating officer, Brown Forman Beverages.