COLIN Montgomerie has welcomed the possibility of the Ryder Cup coming back to Scotland as soon as 2026 but believes the event will probably have to travel around Europe before that can actually happen.
Mike Cantley, VisitScotland’s chairman, revealed last week that the success of this year’s match at Gleneagles could instigate a bid to host the event again a lot sooner than many people had perhaps expected.
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After the 1973 match at Muirfield, it took more than 40 years for the Ryder Cup to return to the game’s cradle but either the 2026 or 2030 slots appear to be on the wish-list for Scottish golf.
“Because it’s the home of golf, you do feel that why should we have to wait 41 years to get it back and it would definitely be great to have it back in Scotland sooner,” said Montgomerie on the eve of making his 600th European Tour appearance in the Turkish Airlines Open. “But it’s a European Tour, remember. It’s not just a Scottish or a British Tour. And we are obligated to go to countries within Europe, not just the home nations.”
One of the countries Scotland could be in opposition for in the bidding for the 2026 event is Turkey after it pulled out of the running for 2022. Hosting it at one of the suitable venues in Belek would require cutting down between 6,000 to 15,000 trees. So, instead, the plan now is to build a new, links-style course specifically for a Ryder Cup.
Turkey was one of seven nations to express an official interest in bidding for 2022, leaving the fight now between Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. While Germany would appear to be favourites on paper, its bid has still to receive full Government support.
If that isn’t forthcoming, either Spain, where the event was held at Valderrama in 1997, or Portugal could be next on the list, while the Marco Simone club outside Rome has just been confirmed as Italy’s chosen location should it get the nod.
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