Victorious Ryder Cup stars Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose have backed Turkey’s bid to stage the 2022 Ryder Cup.
Turkish Golf Association officials were in discussion with the European Tour during the recent Turkish Airlines Golf Challenge about the possibility of becoming only the third country outside of GB & I to host the biannual event.
Mr. Ahmet Agaoglu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, believes Turkey’s bid to host the biannual event will further boost his country in seeking to host the 2020 Olympic Games, and with Istanbul among the favourites to be award the Games next September.
”We have 10 years to work towards a Ryder Cup and given the growing interest in golf in Turkey, and now we have a Turkish Open on the schedule from next year, we feel Turkey will be in a strong position to bid for the 2022 Ryder Cup,” said Agaoglu.
“Of course, we know that France will host the 2018 Ryder Cup and as far as we know, there is no bid from the UK, so with the Turkish economy so strong, we feel as though we will be in a good position to play host to the Ryder Cup.”
McIlroy had been disappointing in his appearance in Turkey but he was upbeat in his support of Turkey, if successful, in being only the third nation outside of GB & I to host the event since the biannual events inception in 1927.
“It’s good that nations within Europe can bid for the Ryder Cup and while it’s surprising to learn that Turkey is after the Ryder Cup, I’m sure in 10 years time it will be a more established country in terms of hosting big golf tournaments,” said McIlroy ahead of his defence of the UBS Hong Kong Open.
“Turkey is set to host a first Turkish Open on the Race to Dubai from next year, so that’s a very positive first step for major golf tournaments.
“So I think it will be a great initiative and by the time 2022 comes around Turkey should be well expertise in hosting a Ryder Cup.”
McIlroy will be 33 years of age if he should qualify for the 2022 Ryder Cup and if he continues to be a member of the European Team it would be his seventh Ryder Cup showing.
Rose captured the $2m first prize cheque in winning the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final and with Turkey bidding to stage the 2020 summer Olympic Games the current World No. 7 is all behind Turkey’s Ryder Cup bid.
“The Ryder Cup is such a huge event and being a member of the winning side this year I’ve come to realise just how big it is, so it’s very important we take care of the game and grow the game,” said Rose.
“We almost saturate golf in the UK so it is very important new markets like Asia and now Turkey are taken care of.
“So something like taking the Ryder Cup to Turkey would really, really help, and I’m sure that after 10 years of hosting big events in Turkey that the country will be fully up to hosting a Ryder Cup.
“I was very impressed when we were out there last month and on top of bidding for the Olympic Games, it shows that Turkey is committed to wanting to host major sporting events.”
As an indication of Turkey’s seriousness to host big-time golf events the country next year will host a first ever Race to Dubai tournament with the staging of the first ever Turkish Open.
The event will be the penultimate event on the 2013 European Tour schedule and be staged from 7th to 10th November.