This just in from the Western Mail:

THE substantial redesign of Celtic Manor's Wentwood Hills course to bring it up to scratch for the 2010 Ryder Cup may have to return to the drawing board after a discovery of considerable archaeological importance during the early stages of excavation.

Bulldozers digging into the hillside above Bulmore Road have uncovered two Roman pottery kilns where the new 17th hole had been planned.

A detailed archaeological survey is now under way at the site and may cause the hole to be reshaped on higher ground where huge hospitality tents had been earmarked to make the most of the commanding views afforded by the steep slopes.

"We've hit a slight technical hitch with the Ryder Cup golf course," confirmed George O'Grady, executive director of the European Tour which, along with the Professional Golfers' Association, runs the biennial match when it is played on this side of the Atlantic.

"We knew before work started that this was an area of great historical importance and they have found two Roman pottery kilns. The relevant archaeological authorities have been brought in and work on the course has been delayed while the area undergoes a full survey.

"In no way do we want to compromise a discovery of such major historical importance, but there is a question of needing to move a little bit quicker.

"I think the general feeling is that more people could be engaged in the survey to help speed things up, but all parties are being very co-operative."

Those parties include the Gwent and Glamorgan Archaeological Trust and Cadw, the organisation that looks after historical monuments in Wales.

The pottery kilns uncovered are thought to have been part of the civilian settlement outside the Fortress of Isca at Caerleon and may be linked to pottery found both in Caerleon and at Hadrian's Wall.

O'Grady, who took up the reins of the European Tour this season, is confident the delay will have no long-lasting ill effects on the preparation of the new course.

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