2022 Ryder Cup to Turkey? It's a possibility
ANTALYA, Turkey – Is there a Ryder Cup in Turkey’s future?
The Turks hope so and are discussing such a bid internally before they approach the European Tour with a proposal.
With the next available Ryder Cup date in 2022, there is time, though the window is closing. After Gleneagles, Scotland, next year, the European Tour likely will move quickly to fill the 2022 date. Paris will host the 2018 Ryder Cup.
“We have folks in our company working on this, but I believe this should go in line with the (Turkish Golf) Federation,” said Temel Kotil, president and chief executive officer of Turkish Airlines. “We will seriously consider a Ryder Cup bid.”
Turkey has hosted two major basketball championships this century – EuroBasket 2001 and the 2010 FIBA World Championships – and bid for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics, coming just short of 2020 winner Tokyo earlier this year.
It’s clear that if a bid were forthcoming that Istanbul would be the only suitable host city.
With little more than a handful of courses in the city that straddles the Bosporus separating Europe and Asia, Istanbul officials would need to build a new course. But with a population of 13.9 million and the desire to grow the sport in Turkey, Istanbul likely would welcome a world-class venue.
Chubby Chandler, the head of International Sports Management, was one of the men instrumental in bringing the European Tour to Turkey. He thinks there is enough interest in Istanbul, plus the requisite financial backing, to get a course built for 2022.
George O’Grady, the chief executive of the European Tour, is not as positive as Chandler but is willing to listen.
“Well, it's very early days to even think about It,” O’Grady said of a potential bid from Turkey. “I think speaking personally, I'm staggered by the success of this tournament and the enthusiasm and the welcome and the can‑do attitude of everybody here in Turkey. I think we rule nothing out.”
England's Ian Poulter agrees that Turkey would be a great venue for a Ryder Cup.
“The country itself, I think, is a good place,” said Poulter, who tied for fifth in the Turkish Airlines Open, his second event in two years in Turkey. “I mean, they do it well; they've done it well this week.”