ROME (AP) — 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.”
“History has shown time and again that the Ryder Cup is pure theater with the players and the stars, and there is no question that the Eternal City of Rome will provide a wonderful backdrop for one of the great occasions in world golf,” he said.
The Jim Fazio-designed course, which hosted the 1994 Italian Open, is located in Guidonia, 27 kilometers (17 miles) northeast of central Rome. The course will undergo a complete reconstruction for the Ryder Cup.
“The Italian bid was consistently strong and impressive across the board in terms of infrastructure, commercial structure and government support,” Europe’s Ryder Cup director Richard Hills said. “The plans outlined for the golf course at Marco Simone are spectacular alongside the commitment to develop all levels of golf in Italy.”
The course will likely form part of Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympics. Rome is competing against Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest, Hungary for the games. Golf is returning to the Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro.
“This is enormous and fundamental for our entire movement, plus a great lead-in to the Olympic bid,” Italian Golf Federation President Franco Chimenti told The Associated Press.
Golf is a growing sport in Italy, helped by the recent success of professionals like brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero.
At the 2012 Ryder Cup, Francesco Molinari halved the last singles match with Tiger Woods to complete a comeback victory and help Europe retain the Cup.
Hazeltine National in Minnesota will host the Ryder Cup next year, followed by Le Golf National in 2018 and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2020.