The Ryder Cup Evaluation Panel visited France, Germany, Holland, Portugal and Spain over a three week period recently to accept the Bid Documents, evaluate the progress being made by each country and to make site inspections of the potential venue for 2018.
The whistle-stop tour by the panel, comprising Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills and his team of Edward Kitson, David MacLaren and Gordon Simpson, provided a fascinating insight into the tireless work done behind by scenes by the five bid nations to compile and present their documents by the April 30 deadline.
Each country placed a unique stamp on their individual bids as the Evaluation Panel visited, in chronological order, France, Holland, Portugal, Germany and Spain. The commitment to stage The 2018 Ryder Cup shone through in the simple form of each candidate’s unique catchphrase. France have opted for “Passion, Prestige and Panache”…for Holland it is “The Gateway to Europe”. Portugal’s slogan is “Got Game…Got Garra (Willpower)”; Germany’s motto is “Emotions Made in Germany” with Spain selecting “Todos Juntas (All Together)”.
Many iconic names from the world of sport have threw their weight behind the respective bids, from German footballer Oliver Kahn to Dutch tennis player Richard Krajicek, Spanish international goalkeeper Iker Cassillas and a host of leading golfers including five-time Major Champion Seve Ballesteros.
The overwhelming message from several of those athletes was the desire to see The Ryder Cup staged in their homeland.
Hills expressed his utmost respect for the quality and commitment of the five Bid Documents and said: “Every country delivered in terms of the professionalism and presentation of their bids. Our Panel was humbled by the warmth of the welcome in France, Germany, Holland, Portugal and Spain.
“We will meet each candidate nation at least once more in the coming months for further dialogue and clarification. At the moment we are entering a period of evaluation and validation of the five bids and we will be briefing our Ryder Cup partners in the PGA and the PGAs of Europe.
“We will also have dialogue with the three influential independent observers who are assisting in the bid process, namely Nick Bitel, Jaime Byrom and Michael Payne, who bring a wealth of knowledge from the legal and sporting arenas.”
Hills added: “Once we have conducted the initial evaluation and clarified any points of issue, the culmination of the bid process will be the signing of conditional contracts with all five bidding nations. The contract with the successful candidate will be activated on the announcement of the winning bid in April 2011.”
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