The host country for the 2018 Ryder Cup will be announced at Wentworth today with the illustrious competition set to be held in continental Europe for the first time since 1997, and only the second time in its history.
Valderrama hosted the tournament 14 years ago and Spain are once again in the running, along with France, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Seve Ballesteros led Europe to a one-point victory over Tom Kite’s Americans back in 1997 and there have been calls for Madrid to be awarded the 2018 tournament in honour of the five-time major winner who died earlier this month.
Le Golf National is also believed to be a frontrunner and the course, near Paris, has a pedigree for hosting major events with 18 of the last 20 French Opens taking place there.
The course’s closing stretch has also played host to some dramatic action through the years and looks tailor-made for the cup.
The decision will not only hinge on the venue however, with the tournament’s popularity meaning the Ryder Cup is now big business. Each bidding nation has had to give financial commitments and outline plans for a lasting legacy of the match.
Chicago, Illinois will host the 39th Ryder Cup next year as America try to regain the trophy after losing at Celtic Manor in October of last year. Gleneagles has already been selected as Europe’s next host in 2014.