SBD/June 25, 2014/Events and Attractions

European Tour Opens Bidding For '22 Ryder Cup, Desert Locales Could Be In Play

The European Tour is "inviting countries to bid" for the '22 Ryder Cup, asking them to "submit a formal bid" by Aug. 31, according to Alistair Tait of GOLF WEEK. The venue and country "will be named" in fall '15, and "odds are the country or person who contributes the most money to the European Tour will win." But "don't be surprised if it isn't even a European country." The Tour "makes money in Ryder Cup years and loses money in non-Ryder Cup years," and the "biggest profit comes when it’s the Tour’s turn to stage the contest." The Tour "opened the bidding process by stressing five key criteria," including government support, a world-class golf facility, infrastructure, commercial opportunities and a commitment to develop the game. Tait noted the fourth factor, commercial opportunities, is "most crucial." Some "sentimentalists think longtime European Tour staging posts such as Germany, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, The Netherlands and other countries should get the match," but they "might be disappointed to find it goes to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar or Turkey." There was a "time when that might have sounded far-fetched, but that was before the Arab sheiks began throwing money at the European Tour." The Desert Swing now is a "huge part of the Tour’s season, and the sheiks have the sort of cash needed to satisfy the tour’s desire for 'commercial opportunities'" (GOLFWEEK.com, 6/23).
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