|ROME — The Ryder Cup is headed to Italy for the first time with the Marco Simone club in Rome chosen Monday to host golf’s biggest team event in 2022.
Italy beat rival bids from Germany, Spain and Austria to secure hosting rights for the 44th edition of the biennial competition between Europe and the United States. It will be the third time the event is staged in continental Europe after Valderrama in Spain in 1997 and Le Golf National in Paris in 2018.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said Rome offered a “bold and ambitious bid.”
A pledge to undertake a complete reconstruction of the golf course, in addition to a significant commitment to the Italian Open, was a major factor in securing the bid. The country’s open will have a pure of €7 million for 11 years beginning in 2017.
Although no Ryder Cup has been contested in Italy, the country has produced several contestants. Costantino Rocca became the first Italian Ryder Cupper when played in the match at The Belfry in 1993. The United States won on that occasion but Rocca tasted victory in his next two outings – at Oak Hill Country Club in 1995 and at Valderrama in 1997 where he famously beat Tiger Woods 4 and 2 in the final day singles.
Since then, brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari have carried the Italian flag into the biennial contest, appearing together in Europe’s narrow victory at The Celtic Manor Resort in 2010 while Francesco was part of the triumphant European team two years later. His half point in the final singles match — again against Tiger Woods — put the seal on the remarkable Miracle of Medinah.
Since the inception of The European Tour in 1972, Italy has hosted 54 European Tour tournaments with nine Italian players having lifted a total of 20 European Tour titles between them, the most successful being Rocca with five. In addition Italy has played host to 82 European Challenge Tour events and eight tournaments on the European Senior Tour.