France selected to host 2018 Ryder Cup
France will host its first Ryder Cup after being awarded the 2018 tournament, beating out sentimental favorite Spain as the popular choice following the death of Seve Ballesteros.
The European Ryder Cup committee voted unanimously in favor of the French bid, which centers on the Le Golf National course near Paris - the headquarters of the French federation and venue for all but two French Opens in the last 20 years.
Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands also entered bids, but tournament committee members said the security of having a course and infrastructure already in place was the key factor in the final decision.
"They have a first-class tournament venue already built, it is a stadium course with plenty of parking nearby and the capital city of Paris and Versailles is the hinterland," said George O'Grady, chief executive of the European Tour. "In these tough economic times, we can see where we're going. We're leaving nothing to chance on building a new course. You could say, in that sense, we've gone for the certainty."
Of France's rivals, only the Netherlands had a course already built.
Spain had gone from being a long-shot to sentimental favorite following the outpouring of support after the death of Ballesteros this month. The Spanish great helped transform the Ryder Cup and was the patron of Spain's bid team. Some thought the committee should honor his memory by awarding his country the 2018 event.
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