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Portuguese PM Backs Ryder Cup Bid

8.09am 26th October 2010 - Sponsorship - This story was updated on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

From Left to Right – Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Director, Bid Chairman, Manuel Pinho and Portugal’s Prime Minister, José Socrates

Portugal’s Prime Minister, José Socrates, met top European Tour officials last week to confirm his Government’s and the Portuguese State full support for Portugal’s bid to host the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Socrates invited Ryder Cup Director, Richard Hills, European Tour Chief Operating Officer, Keith Waters, Bid Chairman, Manuel Pinho, and Manuel Agrellos, the President of the Portuguese Golf Federation, to a meeting at the São Bento Palace and made it clear the bid had the full backing of the Portuguese Government.

“One of the great strengths of our bid is the backing it has received from the Portuguese Government and that is something the Prime Minister wanted to get across as strongly as he could,” said Agrellos.

“It was a very useful meeting and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prime Minster Socrates for taking the time out of his busy schedule in order to confirm his full support for the Bid.

Hills commented: “One of the key points of the Portuguese Candidacy is the unequivocal support of the Government and Prime Minister Socrates. This Government support at the highest level, in addition to support from the private sector, confirms the seriousness of the Portuguese application and we were honoured to be received in such a warm manner by the Prime minister on a particularly busy day for the Goverment in Lisbon.”

The Portuguese bid is based at the new €1 billion golf and leisure development at Herdade da Comporta, close to the village of Comporta on the idyllic Alentejo coastline, where acclaimed American designer, Tom Fazio, has combined with European Golf Design, to build a brand new purpose-built Ryder Cup championship course that sits on rolling land close to the sea.

The Comporta Links, Fazio’s first creation on this side of the Atlantic, is destined to become feted as one of Europe’s finest courses and it will become the focal point in Portuguese plans to develop the Alentejo Coast alongside the Algarve and the Lisbon Coast as the country’s third golfing destination.

The development of the Alentejo Coast has already started but the Portuguese see a successful Ryder Cup bid as the ideal way to accelerate it and to reinforce its reputation as one of the foremost golfing destinations in the world.

A successful bid will also substantially enhance the legacy that is left to Portugal and its people and will provide The European Tour with a significant revenue stream for many years to come.

“We entered the bidding process later than the other contenders but we genuinely believe we have come up with a proposal that the European Tour, the PGA and the PGA of Europe will find hard to discount,” said Miguel Franco de Sousa CEO, of the Portuguese Golf Federation.

“Our job, at this stage, is to make it difficult for the Ryder Cup authorities to ignore us and that’s exactly what we have done. The bid provides a Trophy course which we are convinced will soon be regarded as the finest in Continental Europe and a resort which will be developed with environmental sustainability very much in mind.

“It’s also the only bid that will significantly affect the growth of the GDP of the host country and will leave a lasting legacy for The European Tour, both by guaranteeing support for 36 tournaments over a 12 year period and by providing the Tour with a significant equity-based return.”

The new Herdade da Comporta development is situated 110 km from Lisbon and 140 km from the Algarve, and is owned by the Espírito Santo Group, one of the largest corporate groups in Portugal and shareholders of the country’s second largest private bank, Banco Espírito Santo.

For more information on Portugal’s bid to host 2018 Ryder Cup please contact Neil Gray on 01438 718399 or at neil@gmsgolf.co.uk

       

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