Scotland is hoping to mirror past Ryder Cup success by submitting a bid for the 2019 Solheim Cup – a women-only Europe vs the US golf event.
If the bid is successful, the event, at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, would be the first time the cup has been played in Scotland in almost 20 years.
There is always that something extra every timeCatriona Matthew
The competition works along the same lines as the Ryder Cup and is played on alternate years with the men’s championships.
Led by VisitScotland and backed by the Scottish Government, the bid is hoping to build on the recent sporting success that Scotland has enjoyed in the past few years.
St Andrews was home to the Open Championship this year, while Glasgow played host to the Commonwealth Games and Gleneagles itself, which has been home to a number of major international golfing tournaments, also played host to the Ryder Cup just a year ago.
Scotland has hosted the event on two previous occasions, at Dalmahoy Country Club in 1992 and the Loch Lomond Golf Club in 2000.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Last year Scotland showed what it can do on the world-stage when it not only held, but significantly enhanced, some of the biggest events in the world of sport.
“The 2014 Ryder Cup was a magnificent spectacle and will be remembered for many years to come, while the XX Commonwealth Games was another huge success story for our country. We want to do the same thing with The Solheim Cup in 2019.”
Sports minister Jamie Hepburn passed the bidding documents to 16-year-old ClubGolf graduate Katriona Taylor on Thursday and yesterday, along with former Ladies European Tour player Catherine Panton-Lewis, the bid was submitted to the Ladies European Tour on behalf of Scotland.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to have led this bid on behalf of Scotland and The Scottish government and look forward to helping deliver a world-class Solheim Cup in 2019 in the same way as we did with The Ryder Cup in 2014.”
The cup, to be played in August or September 2019, would be expected to attract around 30,000 spectators per day to the Perthshire venue.
Catriona Matthew, Scotland’s number one ranked female golfer and a player in seven European Solheim Cup teams, said: “Golf in Scotland is a national past-time and the Scottish crowds would come out to support The Solheim Cup in droves. Equally, both players and media love coming to golf events in Scotland. It is the Home of Golf and there is always that something extra every time you tee it up in a competition here.”
Germany is to play host to this year’s Solheim Cup, while the 2017 event is due to be held in Des Moines, in the US.
The last Solheim cup which was played in Colorado in 2013, was won by the European team.