Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, United States: China, Japan and Malaysia will have to wait their turn to play host to the Presidents Cup.
Hopes that the biennial team event would return to Asia in 2019 have been dispelled with confirmation that the Royal Melbourne Golf Club will, for the third time, act as the venue.
The Presidents Cup was previously held at the acclaimed Melbourne club in 1998 and 2011. No other international venue has hosted a Presidents Cup more than once.
In 2015, the event was staged at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Korea, the first time it had been held in Asia.
Former US PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem had spoken publicly about the possibility of taking the match play tournament to China or Japan in 2019.
There had also been rumours that the recently opened Els Club Desaru, designed by International Team stalwart Ernie Els, was being considered.
However, with the Presidents Cup alternating between the United States and an International venue, the next time China, Japan and Malaysia would be in the running will not now be until 2023.
Jay Monahan, who took over from Finchem as PGA Tour Commissioner last year, said: “We’re thrilled to once again be returning to the prestigious and storied Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
“Our history there speaks volumes about not only the course and its ability to host world-class competitions, but also the surrounding area in Melbourne as a destination for our fans and players. With so many great courses in the Sandbelt, we were not short on choice when it came to selecting a championship-tested venue.
“Returning to such a storied course for this event, especially as both teams have been victorious there, is a special privilege and sets both teams up for an even playing field to break the tie.”
Royal Melbourne was the site of the lone International Team victory to date, in 1998 when Peter Thomson’s side defeated Jack Nicklaus’ US Team 20.5 to 11.5. In 2011, Fred Couples led the US to a 19-15 win over Greg Norman and the Internationals.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club has two courses, both ranked in the world’s top 100, and designed by the legendary Alister MacKenzie. In 1959, in order to host the first of many international tournaments, 12 holes of the West Course and six from the East Course were combined to create what is known as the Composite Course, which also hosted the 2013 World Cup of Golf, won by Jason Day and Adam Scott.
David Thomas, Captain of Royal Melbourne Golf Club, said: “Royal Melbourne is delighted to be chosen to host the 2019 Presidents Cup. It is a prestigious international tournament featuring many of the very best golfers in the world.
“Past encounters have invariably included many fine matches, with players from both teams displaying finely honed golfing skills and exhibiting outstanding sportsmanship in a team environment. Our club looks forward to some excellent golf being played by both teams on our renowned Composite Course.”
John Eren, State of Victoria Minister of Tourism and Major Events, said: “We look forward to the Presidents Cup returning to Royal Melbourne Golf Club in 2019.
“No other city outside the United States has hosted it more than once – it’s a badge we’ll wear with honour. This is a flagship date on the sports calendar and there’s no better place for it than the city that does the big events best.
“Thousands of travellers will come to Melbourne, keeping our businesses busy and our economy strong, while showcasing our state to millions more on television.”