Golf changed forever in Spain in 1997 with the famous Sotogrande Ryder Cup. Seve Ballesteros was captain, José María Olazábal as leader of the team and the name of a young man named Sergio García began to sound. Edorta Rahm and his wife Angela were hooked on this sport through the images that came from Valderrama and, therefore, they took their son Jon to give his first classes in the Vitorian field of Larrabea.
Since then, it has taken three almost decades for Spain, in this case Malaga, to be the epicenter of golf again. The Solheim Cup, the clash between the best players in Europe and the United States, will become this Thursday the most important women's sporting event that will be held in our borders. Although the Government did not want to know. Although the event, with a budget close to 20 million euros, ensures a direct return of almost 10 times more, the central government has not yet contributed a penny.
A total of 100,000 spectators will fill the field of the Finca Cortesín de Casares with tickets ranging from 25 euros to attend some of the practice days to 2,500 euros for a VIP experience throughout the week in one of the luxurious hospitality tents. The images of the Costa del Sol and the tournament will be seen in 200 countries, where the tournament will be broadcast live with more than 30 hours of coverage. In Spain, Mediaset and Movistar + will offer the event while TVE negotiated this Wednesday in extremis the possibility of televising it.
Sport & Business, the promoter that achieved the miracle of bringing the Solheim Cup to our country, has been working quietly for a long time and has managed to cover costs thanks to private sponsors and institutions on the Costa del Sol, headed by the Board, but has not yet received anything from the Government.
The vacuum is bloody since the central administration has allocated 96 million euros to the candidacy of the 2031 Ryder Cup of Catalonia despite the fact that political instability is ruining the options of the Girona course of Carimal Golf.
A picture of the workouts. AP
The president of the Diputación de Málaga and Turismo Costa del Sol, Francisco Salado, did not overlook the comparative grievance in the presentation of the Solheim Cup. "Zero euros for women's golf in Andalusia compared to millions for men's golf in Catalonia. But then they boast of feminism, it is mere posturing. It is not fair and it makes no sense at all. From here I demand an explanation from the Government because the rest of the administrations, the Junta de Andalucía, the Diputación and the town halls have been contributing to this international event for five years. They have had plenty of time," he added annoyed at the public event held this week.
Given the evidence and at a particularly sensitive moment in which acting ministers of the Executive seek to proclaim equality between women's and men's sport, the Government tried to react in recent weeks through the Higher Sports Council with a subsidy of 1.7 million euros. But it cannot be processed until there is a firm government and, if it is not constituted before the end of the year, it is very possible that the Solheim Cup will be left without that help.
In or strictly sporting, after the opening ceremony on Thursday the ball will begin to roll on Friday with the 24 players facing each other, the 12 Europeans with the presence of Carlota Ciganda as the only Spanish of the event and the Americans with the number 2 in the world, Llia Vu and the number 3, Nelly Korda.
It is the eighteenth edition of the tournament where Europe has won seven editions including the last two. The players are paired in five game sessions, Friday and Saturday there will be morning and afternoon shift where they will face each other in pairs in fourballs (best ball) and foursome (alternating strokes) and on Sunday the Solheim Cup will be decided with the twelve individual matches. The modality will always be match play, game by holes, with 28 points at stake; Each victory is valued with one point, the draw as a medium. The team that manages to add the 14 and a half points will take the trophy, with the exception that in case of a tie at 14 points, Europe, which defends the title, will retain the cup.
- Ryder Cup