Andalucia event called off
Officials announce cancellation of Spanish event
Last Updated: 12/09/12 11:28am
The event at Valderrama in October has been cancelled
The European Tour have confirmed that next month's Andalucia Masters at Valderrama has been cancelled.
The local authorities in Andalucia announced on Monday that the tournament at the Valderrama Golf Club would not go ahead, and have now formally confirmed that decision to the European Tour.
"The European Tour regrets to announce that the 2012 Andalucia Masters, due to be played at the Club de Golf Valderrama, Sotogrande, on October 18-21, will now be cancelled.
"The Junta de Andalucia confirmed this decision by letter which they also announced by a press release on Monday September 10th.
"Despite discussions with the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, and a formal legal agreement with the Junta de Andalucia, the tournament will not take place."
George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: ''This is extremely disappointing news to receive, especially at such a late date.
"We have been long term partners with the Junta for over 25 years.
"In that time we have seen together with many other events, the Volvo Masters staged in Andalucía from 1988-2008, two American Express World Golf Championships, won by Tiger Woods in 1999 and Mike Weir in 2000, and the Jewel in the Crown, The 1997 Ryder Cup played at Club de Golf Valderrama.
"We have worked together to promote the region, and the Junta de Andalucía and The European Tour have enjoyed an exceptionally strong and committed long term partnership.
"We feel the disappointment not only for our Members and all committed to broadcasting and reporting this tournament and the region on a global scale, but also for the many visitors, especially from Northern Europe, who coincide their vacations with the tournament.
"We will work with the Junta to rectify this situation both now and in the future''.
O'Grady elaborated further on Sky Sports News and revealed that a combination of finance and a change in political leadership in the region had been the contributory causes.
He said: "It's common knowledge the problem the Eurozone countries are in but this is a political decision as well. There's been lots of changes in the local politicians and the parties involved.
"This is really a change of leadership in the area and how they view things.
"We always thought this one would be rescued. We were prepared to go the extra mile with our own money but you can't do it if people won't talk back the other way.
"We've used all our relationships down there, the Spanish golf federation, presidents of that body, presidents of central government but this is a political arena we're now in and the individual concerned now probably doesn't understand what he's got.
"Everyone was rallying around to rescue the tournament. There's a lot of people who see the value of the event for the region, the tourism, the industry that comes there.
"We have a tight, hard, legal contract which is just being ignored. Naturally enough we'll see if we can sort it out ourselves without using lawyers too much but, if we wanted to, we can."
O'Grady also allayed fears that this could be the first of several tournaments to go.
"This is, I think, an isolated case," he said.
"The other tournaments that have had problems, we've known a bit about that for some time. They're with individual promoters which is different if they can't make the money."