Drought threatens the 2031 Girona Ryder Cup

The 2031 Ryder Cup, which has been awarded to Spain, specifically the Camiral Golf & Resort in Caldes de Malavella (Girona), could face significant delays due to the drought that has affected the Barcelona and Girona reservoirs

by Andrea Gussoni
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Drought threatens the 2031 Girona Ryder Cup
© Getty Images Sport Naomi Baker / Staff

The 2031 Ryder Cup, which has been awarded to Spain, specifically the Camiral Golf & Resort in Caldes de Malavella (Girona), could face significant delays due to the drought that has affected the Barcelona and Girona reservoirs.

This situation delays the decision of the Generalitat to approve the project, which still must be supported by the Catalan Parliament and would require a significant investment of more than 40 million euros, shared between the central government and the councils of Girona and Barcelona.

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The European Tour, aware of the country's support, is concerned about the delay in deadlines, although no specific deadline has been established. The last editions of the Ryder Cup in Europe, such as the one in Italy and the future one in Ireland in 2017, were announced eight years in advance.

The desire is to announce the 2031 Ryder Cup before spring. Despite these concerns, reports from the Catalan Golf Federation suggest that sustainable irrigation is not a real problem. 90% of the golf courses in the region use recycled water, and the Girona club has its own water treatment plant that regenerates the water used in the hotel and the golf course villas, which makes the project be sustainable.

The project has also met the necessary requirements, such as designing a mixed course between the resort's two courses and providing bleachers for more than 20,000 people on the tee of hole 1, an essential requirement for the event.

The proposal from businessman Denis O'Brien, owner of the resort, remains the main option backed by the Spanish Golf Federation, but other options, such as the complete remodeling of Meaztegui in Vizcaya or a possible rescue in Madrid, are also being considered if the Government withdraws from the project at the last moment.

The Ryder Cup, which takes its name from the trophy donated by Englishman Samuel Ryder (1858–1936) to the American federation in 1924, is a competition co-managed by the European Tour and the PGA of America. From 1927 to 1971, the tournament took place between the selection of the United States and that of Great Britain, with a clear American dominance (15-3) and only one draw.

In 1973, Ireland was incorporated into the Great Britain team, and in 1979, all of the rest of continental Europe was included. With the acceptance of the European team as an antagonist of the US team, the tournament has become much more balanced: from 1979 to 2018, there have been eleven victories for Europe, eight for the United States and only one draw.

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