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France lands 2018 Ryder Cup

France have been selected as hosts of the 2018 Ryder Cup, it was announced today.

The 42nd edition of the biennial match will be staged at Le Golf National in Versailles, just outside Paris, which has been the venue for 18 of the last 20 French Open tournaments.

The Ryder Cup has been played on the contintent just once before, at Valderrama in Spain in 1997 when Seve Ballesteros captained Europe to victory.

There had been calls from the Ballesteros family to award the event to Spain in honour of the five-time major winner, who was patron of the Madrid bid and died earlier this month.

But the European Tour resisted the emotional pull and selected France ahead of Spain, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands.

The decision did not only hinge on the venue, with the tournament's popularity meaning the Ryder Cup is now big business.

Each bidding nation has had to give financial commitments and outline plans for a lasting legacy of the match. The French bid had government backing, with president Nicolas Sarkozy deeming it to be a priority.

France have already secured hosting rights for the 2016 European football championships and they are bidding for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Chicago, Illinois will host the 39th Ryder Cup next year as America try to regain the trophy after losing at Celtic Manor in October of last year. Gleneagles has already been selected as Europe's next host in 2014.