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European Tour announces cancellation of Andalucia Masters

updated 7:07 AM EDT, Wed September 12, 2012
Spain's Sergio Garcia won the Andalucia Masters last year.
Spain's Sergio Garcia won the Andalucia Masters last year.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The European Tour announce the cancellation of the Andalucia Masters
  • The Spanish event has been on the Tour calendar since 1988
  • The Valderrama course hosted the Ryder Cup in 1997, when Europe beat the U.S.
  • Europe will defend the Ryder Cup against the U.S. at Medinah this month

(CNN) -- Golf's European Tour has been forced to cancel October's Andalucia Masters.

The Spanish event, formerly known as the Volvo Masters, has been a fixture on the European circuit since the first staging of the tournament in 1988, but Spain is currently in the grip of recession.

Tour chief executive George O'Grady expressed his disappointment that the October 18-21 event, won by Spaniard Sergio Garcia in 2011 and which is staged at the Valderrama golf club, has been called off at such late notice.

"We have been long term partners with the Junta for over 25 years," O'Grady told the Tour's official website, referring to the region of Andalucia's government.

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"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.

"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."

Despite the setback, O'Grady hoped the Valderrama tournament could return to the European Tour's calendar in the future.

"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."

When Valderrama staged the Ryder Cup in 1997, Seve Ballesteros' European Team beat the U.S. 14 ½ - 13 ½.

The 39th Ryder Cup match will take place later this month at the Medinnah Country Club in Illinois.

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