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Decision Expected on 2018 Ryder Cup Host

Madrid tipped to host as tribute to Seve

Posted May 17, 2011 by Chris White

Europe currently hold the Ryder Cup after winning at Celtic Manor in 2010

The host of the 2018 Ryder Cup will be named on Tuesday, with Madrid the favourites to land the epic contest at the Tres Cantos course, as a tribute to the late Seve Ballesteros.

It would be only the second time, after Valderrama in 1997 – the event in which Ballesteros captained Europe to victory – that continental Europe has staged the Ryder Cup, with all other European hosts being from Britain and Ireland. The other bidding nations are France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Portugal, with Sweden having pulled out due to their economic problems.

As part of the bidding process, each nation must state its financial commitment, and also detail the legacy that hosting the Ryder Cup will leave for future generations of golfers and the area.

Seve’s brother, Baldomero, said at his funeral, "It would be the greatest tribute to him. I appeal to the sensitivity of the Ryder Cup committee to agree that the greatest honour that could be bestowed on Seve is to award the competition to Spain. I appeal on behalf of the family."

The Wittelsbacher Golf Club, based an hour north of Munich, is the German course, and the brand new Comporta Dunes, south of Lisbon is the bidding Portuguese course. The Netherlands are proposing The Dutch, while Le Golf National, near Paris, is the French proposal – the host of the French Open for 18 out of the last 20 years.

Pascal Grizot, head of the Ryder Cup commission at the French Golf Federation, told L’Equipe newspaper that he has been informed that the French bid, which is backed by the state, is among the favourites with Spain and Portugal their main rivals. However, Grizot fears that the French bid may suffer because of “the lack of French golfers ranked in the top 100 in the world.” France have just two players in the top 100, with Raphael Jacquelin, ranked 90th, and Gregory Bourdy, ranked 92nd.

There is no doubt that giving Madrid the 2018 Ryder Cup would be a fitting tribute to Seve, but if they’re not the right course to host the event, it could end up being a bad decision. If the event is remembered for poor greens or being a poor course in general, people will remember it for the bad reasons, not something the great man would want I’m sure. The French bid sounds the most viable – 18 out of the last 20 French Opens says it all – they’re ready to host it and know what they’re doing.

The decision will be announced on Tuesday afternoon in a press conference from the headquarters of the European Tour, Wentworth.

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