French to host maiden Ryder Cup

by Alister POOLE on May 18, 2011

France will host the Ryder Cup in 2018 for the first time in the competition’s history.

The 42nd run of the match will be played at Versaille’s Le Golf National, just on the outskirts of Paris. As fans of the game will be aware, it has been the host of the French Open for the last 18 years.

The victory comes despite late surges from the Spanish bidding team, who hoped that the tournament would be staged in Madrid considering the recent death of their countryman Seve Ballesteros. Before his death, the legend had been campaigning for the competition to be contested in his homeland for what would have been the second time.

In total there were five bids, however France and Spain were widely-perceived as being the frontrunners way ahead of the likes of Germany, Portugal and Holland. The French bid had an incredibly strong backing from France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said that staging the Ryder Cup is “a priority” and that masses of money will be put into the project.

George O’Grady, the European Tour boss, pointed to a promise to set up at least 100 urban golf courses across France to make sure that the game is more accessible for those that can’t get to to mostly rural sites around Europe’s largest country.

Already, 80% of registered French golfers have voted for €3 increases to their green licence fees in order to support their country’s bid.

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