23 Dec '12, 6pm

European Tour hit by financial problems in Spain

European Tour hit by financial problems in Spain

PARIS -- With its array of courses and short-sleeves climate, Spain made a natural home for professional golf. In 2011, the land of Seve Ballesteros hosted seven European Tour tournaments, more than any other country. Next year, that could plummet to just one, the Spanish Open. Deep in recession, with unemployment near 25 percent, putting up purses to entice golf's big names is a luxury Spain can ill afford. Government tourist boards that once bankrolled tournaments to sell Spain as a destination and companies that provided sponsorship often no longer have the money or do not want to be seen spending it on golf when Spaniards are so squeezed financially. The $1.3 million Iberdrola Open, won in 2011 by Darren Clarke two months before his British Open victory, vanished from the Tour schedule in 2012, with the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal filling its slot. Also gone are t...

Full article: http://www.pga.com/news/european-tour/european-financial-...

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