Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher to Host 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain at Captain's Welcome Dinner

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 06, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Mandy Lambert

Paul Azinger named Captain of the 2008 team by the PGA of America earlier today

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky’s state capitol building will provide the spectacular backdrop as Governor and Mrs. Ernie Fletcher host Paul Azinger, the newly named 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup Team Captain at a welcome dinner this evening.  The event represents Kentucky’s first opportunity to introduce the Captain to Kentucky as the state prepares to host the Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in 2008.

“The First Lady and I are honored to welcome Paul and his wife to Kentucky as we show our full support of his leadership and the entire U.S. Ryder Cup team,” said Governor Fletcher.  “When the Ryder Cup matches take place in 2008, it will be the largest sporting event ever to come to Kentucky.  We intend to take full advantage of all the opportunities it presents our great Commonwealth.”

Governor Fletcher and his 16-member Ryder Cup Task Force, chaired by Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong, are working closely with Mayor Jerry Abramson’s 16-member Task Force.  The two groups have already begun to lay the ground work to ensure the state and city are fully prepared to host this enormous event in September of 2008.

“Kentucky has teamed up with The PGA of America to create a win-win partnership,” said Secretary Strong. “With an expected attendance of 210,000 spectators, worldwide media attention, and an economic impact exceeding $100 million to the commonwealth, Kentucky is poised to deliver a monumental guest experience in 2008.  Tonight, we will officially kickoff this extraordinary opportunity by welcoming the U.S. Team Captain to Kentucky.”

A press conference was held earlier today at Valhalla Golf Club to officially name Azinger as the 2008 U.S. Team Captain.  Paul Azinger turned professional in 1981, and today becomes the 25th individual to be chosen U.S. Captain since the Ryder Cup began in 1927 in Worcester, Mass.

In addition to the Captain, tonight’s event will include members from The PGA of America, Kentucky’s business leaders, state and city task force members, as well as other distinguished Kentuckians.