Golf: Concerns over the cost of staging sporting events in Spain is thought to be one of the primary reasons behind the cancellation of the Andalucia Masters.
The European Tour confirmed today that the Valderrama competition has been axed as the country’s financial crisis deepens.
No official reason was given for the late decision to call off the event due to be played from October 18-21, which last year was won by Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
But it is believed that a change of government in the Andalucia region has triggered the cancellation, with the new administration keen to cut costs.
Having announced earlier in the week that the tournament at the Valderrama golf club would not go ahead, the new local authority today formally confirmed that decision to the European Tour.
A Tour spokesperson said: “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 10.
“Despite discussions with the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, and a formal legal agreement with the Junta de Andalucia, the tournament will not take place.”
European Tour chief executive George O’Grady expressed his disappointment at the news and stressed that steps would be taken to ensure the event returns to the calendar in future years.
However he also insisted that the situation was not the fault of the hosting club.
“This isn’t Valderrama’s problem. Valderrama has been tremendously helpful and supportive in the political arena,” he said.
“This is really [down to] a change of leadership in the area and how they do things.”
He added: “We always felt this one would be rescued, and we were prepared to go the extra mile with our own money, whether we cut the prize fund or things like that — but you can’t do it if people won’t talk back the other way.
“This is a big change in political leadership. The individual concerned probably doesn’t understand what he’s got.”