France win 2018 Ryder Cup bid
The Tricolor bid has succeeded. France will stage mainland Europe’s second Ryder Cup in 2018.
The Tricolor bid has succeeded. France will stage its first and mainland Europe’s second Ryder Cup in 2018.
The impressive French bid was favoured ahead of European Tour rivals Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands and has left a delighted French golfing world overjoyed at becoming only the second mainland European nation to to host the Ryder Cup, an event that has grown into one of sports biggest TV spectacles after giants like the World Football Cup, the Olympic Games, and the World Rugby and Cricket Cups.
Spain hosted the first and, until now, only previous Ryder Cup in 1997, when the late Seve Ballesteros captained the Europeans to a thrilling, one-point victory at Valderrama in Spain.
The host course for the 2018 event will be the storied Le Golf National near Paris, which has hosting many of France’s most important events, of the last 20 French Opens having taken place there.
The course’s closing stretch has seen many dramatic moments through the years and looks tailor-made to provide the setting for plenty of Ryder Cup drama, both in the pairs and singles matches.
There had been calls from the Ballesteros family to award the event to Spain in honour of the five-time major winner, who was patron of the Madrid bid and died earlier this month.
But the European Tour resisted the emotional pull and focused on the strengths of the French bid – particularly the course, the location and its logistical and transport plans.
European Ryder Cup director Richard Hills was full of praise for it.
“The winning bid from France stands out for a number of reasons,” he explained.
“The venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup, Le Golf National, is a truly outstanding golf course, providing excellent spectator viewing and the promise of spectacular climaxes to the matches.
“Their transportation, logistical and infrastructure plans wer also of the highest quality.”
He added: “There is no doubt that the 2018 Ryder Cup will be a memorable and dramatic and will give tens of thousands of golf fans the chance to enjoy.”
Paris remains a hugely popular destination for American tourists, a factor expected to boost the galleries at the 2018 event.
The tournament’s popularity means the Ryder Cup is big business and that was a key consideration too.
The French bid had government backing, with president Nicolas Sarkozy deeming it to be a priority.
In addition, every registered golfer in the country donated money towards the cause.
A delighted Pascal Grizot, Chairman of the French Ryder Cup Bid, FFGolf said: “We’ve always believed it could happen.
“My greatest satisfaction is to have brought everyone together to believe it too.
“French golf united and this did not go unnoticed by the European Tour.This huge victory is one for everyone connected to French golf,” Grizot, added.
Organisers are hoping the awarding of the Ryder Cup will boost the development of golf in France and have set a target to increase the number of registered players from 400,000 to 700,000 by 2022.
They will also be working at devolping at enough world class golfers so as to ensure that at least three French golfers are good enough to qualify for a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team by 2022.
“We’ve always believed it could happen. My greatest satisfaction is to have brought everyone together to believe it too. French golf united and this did not go unnoticed by the European Tour.This huge victory is one for everyone connected to French golf,” said
France have already secured hosting rights for the 2016 European football championships and they are are currently working on a bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Chicago, Illinois will host the 39th Ryder Cup next year as America try to regain the trophy after losing at Celtic Manor in Wales last October
Gleneagles has already been selected as Europe’s next host in 2014.
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