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Hope for Valderrama event?

Graeme McDowell lifted the title at Valderrama in 2010.While the European Tour announced last week that next month’s Andalucia Masters has been cancelled, reports from Spain indicate that talks are still ongoing between Wentworth and the Junta de Andalucia with a view to saving the event.

According to a Europa Press report, the central government delegate to the Junta de Andalucía, Fernando López Gil, confirmed on Friday that the autonomous region contues to negotiate with the European Tour with a view to staging the Valderrama event with reduced investment by the Andalusian government.

López Gil confirmed that they had been in talks for “months” to try and ensure the survival of an event considered highly important in its efforts to attract tourists to the Cádiz region.

While pointing out that the investment by the Junta de Andalucia was “very high”, he added that it was “difficult to manage” given the “priorities” the Junta has in other sectors.

According to López Gil, the Andalusian government is seeking private sector support that has not been forthcoming so far.

The event was scheduled for October 18-21 and while the European Tour announced last Wednesday that the event was cancelled.

In a statement, European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady 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.”