Scotland makes official bid to host 2019 match
2014 ryder cup venue in frame to stage event Seven-time european star backing the bid
SCOTLAND has thrown its hat into the ring to host the 2019 Solheim Cup - and it is planning on taking the match to last year’s Ryder Cup host venue, Gleneagles.
Led by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and backed by the Scottish Government, the country is bidding to stage the biennial match, contested by teams representing Europe and the USA, for the third time in its history, following previous matches at Dalmahoy, in 1992, and Loch Lomond, in 2000. On both those occasions, Europe ran out victorious.
Announcing the intention to bid for the match, the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, remarked: “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 Commonwealth Games was another huge success story for our country. We want to do the same with the Solheim Cup.
“Scotland is now renowned as a world-class tourism and events destination. Not only would hosting the Solheim Cup in Scotland, the Home of Golf, provide a huge boost to the profile of this fantastic event, it would continue to promote equality across the game and show that golf in Scotland is a sport for all after the successful hosting of the Ryder Cup.”
The decision to play the prospective match at Gleneagles was made following a detailed review of submissions by Scottish clubs and resorts, who were invited to put their names forward to stage the match.
Scottish Club Golfer understands around a dozen such facilities did so, from which a shortlist of four was drawn up before Gleneagles was given the nod on account of the ‘world-renowned status of the venue’ and ‘the outstanding success of the 2014 Ryder Cup’.
Bernard Murphy, Gleneagles’ managing director, commented: “Hosting the Ryder Cup was a great opportunity for Gleneagles and Perthshire, and an experience none of us will ever forget. The positive impact it had on tourism and Scotland’s global reputation should not be underestimated. We would be truly honoured to welcome the Solheim Cup to Gleneagles and look forward to working with VisitScotland and the Scottish Government to bring another world-class golf event to the area.”
It is Scottish Club Golfer’s understanding that Scotland’s main competition is likely to come from Spain and Sweden, whilst, at the point of going to print, a bid from England - with Ganton rumoured to be its chosen venue - had also not yet been ruled out. Wales, too, is thought to be interested.
Welcoming the decision to bid for the 2019 match, seven-time Solheim Cup player and former RICOH Women’s British Open champion Catriona Matthew said: “The Solheim Cup is a special event, which is growing in profile and stature with each passing staging. I have no doubt that a Solheim Cup in 2019 at Gleneagles would be the biggest and best yet.”
The event, to be played in August or September 2019, would be expected to attract around 30,000 spectators per day to Gleneagles, including a strong contingent from outwith Scotland and overseas.
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.”
A decision on the venue for the 2019 Solheim Cup could be made as early as November.