“Certainty” of French bid secure 2018 Ryder Cup for golf national

France will host the 42nd edition of the Ryder Cup in 2018, after seeing off bids from Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

3 September 2012 Michael Long

France will host the 42nd edition of the Ryder Cup in 2018, after seeing off bids from Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. The popular Golf National course, close to Paris, will be the venue for the famous contest between the best of Europe and the USA’s golfers. The decision was taken by an executive committee led by Europe’s Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, and including 2018 bid director David MacLaren, Ryder Cup match director A ˜     Jonathan Orr. It followed an extensive bidding process, with the four-man team conducting visits of each bidding site. Perhaps mindful of the criticism of the bidding processes conducted by certain other governing bodies, including those for the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups, the announcement included an in-depth video explanation of the process, taking in the visits to each site and explaining the committee’s thoughts at each stage. That information had also been communicated back to the bid teams in what was a crucial moment for the European Tour, awarding only the second edition of the Ryder Cup to be held in continental Europe and faced with unquestionably the largest bidding process in its history. At the announcement, the committee cited a number of factors that had proved  @     public, private and popular support. The last had been best demonstrated by an        than 400,000 French golfers, who voted overwhelmingly to add €3 to their annual licence fees to fund the bid and ongoing Ryder Cup developments in the coming years. In an email to SportsPro, Pascal Grizot, the French Ryder Cup bid committee       decision in a phenomenally close competitive •0 #   best for all requirements but certainly the  – 6  •0  ”        Q     were: the support of the French golfers with the €3 licence fee increase; the existing      period; [and] the strong support of the state at the highest level, of the region, of the department and of the Saint-Quentin town.” Grizot also paid tribute to IMG and Havas, which both consulted on the bid, for their vital involvement. The choice of host was kept tightly under wraps until the announcement itself, with each of the bids – particularly that of the Spanish capital, Madrid – drawing sincere praise from the European Tour. Vital to France’s bid had been acting on the European Tour’s feedback throughout the •=  Œ# of our bid and the understanding the European Tour had of our propositions,” 6  •0 “ # hard to build this project and we had the feeling that we had done our best to meet the ET’s demands.” The announcement took place against the backdrop of the death, at 54, of legendary Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros, who captained the European team to success at Valderrama in 1997, the only previous occasion the Ryder Cup has been held in continental Europe. Speculation was rife in the days before the announcement as to the effect Ballesteros’ passing, coming at the end of a long battle against cancer, would have on the decision. Some commentators had predicted the tragedy would sway the European Tour into making an emotional tribute to the Spaniard by handing the tournament to his home country’s bid, of    =  European Tour promised a range of tributes to Ballesteros, with Grizot adding at the ¤•0  '  Ballesteros as an icon in our sport and someone who epitomised the spirit of the Ryder Cup. He is in our thoughts today.” Le Golf National has been the stage of 18 of the last 20 French Open tournaments. While much of the existing course will be retained, there will be upgrades made to spectator and hospitality facilities, with the venue capable of welcoming 70,000 visitors per day. In addition, in a move also cited as crucial to the European Tour’s choice, the French Ryder Cup project will fund the creation 100 urban golf courses – affordable, accessible and designed to attract 300,000 new, young golfers. The bid pointed to the 30 per cent growth in participation numbers in rugby union following the Rugby World Cup in France in $%%“•=   in France,” Grizot told SportsPro•>  golfers there are in France, the stronger our relations with the ET can be.” However, he and his team have pledged to work with the other bids, through the European Tour, to make the competition a genuinely Europewide event. George O’Grady, the European Tour chief executive, was effusive in his praise of the French bid, but also spoke warmly of its competitors, and predicted that they will have the chance to host future tournaments     B ¤•@    &># 2  tournament venue already built. In these tough economic times we can see where we are going. We are leaving nothing to chance on building a new course. The plans for the new courses in Portugal and Spain are absolutely superb. Seven and a half years sounds a long time but developing new areas        ask in that time. That is why I think their time will come. You could say, in that sense, we have gone for the certainty.” •    policy to have some French champions” formed a key part of France’s bid and of its future challenge, with an aim to have three French players in the world top 50 ‘CERTAINTY’ OF FRENCH BID SECURES 2018 RYDER CUP FOR GOLF NATIONAL INSIGHT | GOLF SportsPro Magazine | 45 (Bottom left): Pascal Grizot, president of the French bid, tees off; (top left) crowds can look forward to famous scenes at Golf National; (top right) European Ryder Cup director Richard Hills, European Tour chief executive George O’Grady, French sports minister Chantal Jouanno, Grizot, and PGA chief executive Sandy Jones and on the Ryder Cup team by 2022 – the next European edition after 2018. Each of the defeated bids, meanwhile, would have a strong claim to host that edition should they decide to bid. They would likely be rivalled by Sweden, which originally entered the race for 2018 but withdrew in the midst of the economic crisis, stating a desire to bid for 2022 if possible. During the bid process for 2018, the European Tour had considered awarding the right to host 2022 itself, because of the quality of the bids, but on consideration of the legal and operational   F    Swedish bid to challenge for 2022 – decided such a course of action would be both unworkable and undesirable. European Ryder Cup director Richard B ¤•>  France stands out for a number of reasons. 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. Transportation, logistical and infrastructure plans are also of the highest quality. There’s no doubt that the 2018 Ryder Cup will be memorable and dramatic, and which thousands of golf fans will be able to enjoy.” 44 2011 07 {filedir_26}SportsProMag_issue34_44-45.pdf [26375] [sportspro_july_2011] SportsPro July 2011