France worthy winners of race to stage 2018 Ryder Cup
Sentiment didn't sway the hard head of business when Ryder Cup Europe announced the match will be played for the first time in France in 2018.
Late in the bidding process there was renewed campaigning for the event to be staged in Madrid after the recent death of Severiano Ballesteros - the legend who had been advocating the match to be played in his native Spain for the second time.
Players, fans and some administrators suggested that awarding the Ryder Cup to Madrid would be a fitting tribute to Seve, who died just eleven days before the decision was made on which country would stage the 2018 match.
French golfers Thomas Levet and Jean Van de Velde will be among those hoping to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe. Photo: Getty
While Spain had the Seve factor, the attempt to take the match to the Le Golf National in Versailles ticked boxes on finance, legacy and golfing legitimacy. Ultimately this is what tipped the scales against the sentimental option.
The French bid had strong government backing; President Sarkozy had already deemed staging the Ryder Cup as "a priority" and there was plenty of money behind the project.
European Tour boss George O'Grady pointed to the promise to set up 100 urban golf courses in France to make the game more accessible as a key element of the proposed legacy.
Already 80% of registered golfers in France have voted in favour of a €3 increase in their license fees to support their country's bid.
But most exciting for golf fans on both sides of the Atlantic is the quality of the course - a stadium layout reportedly capable of holding 70,000 fans a day that has already proved itself as the long-term venue of the French Open.
It is a course that boasts a superb stretch of finishing holes ideally suited to the demands of matchplay golf.
With a plentiful supply of hotel rooms, decent transport links and a fan park promised for the Eiffel Tower the ingredients are there for an extraordinary experience for those attending in whatever capacity.
Spain, no doubt, deserve sympathy for missing out, especially after Ballesteros's recent passing. At the moment emotions are raw but how relevant is this factor seven years from now?
It was important to take the Ryder Cup to a country that has not staged it before and the fact that one of the world's great capital cities made such a bold bid is fitting testament to the impact Ballesteros had in making the match as desirable to stage as it is today.
Seve Ballesteros was captain of the Ryder Cup-winning European team in Spain, 1997. Photo: Getty
Spain mounted an impressive bid but it could be argued the German bidders deserve just as much sympathy for missing out.
As a player and a captain Bernhard Langer made an immense contribution to the Ryder Cup and his brother Erwin's attempt to stage the event would have provided a fitting tribute.
This is especially the case when you consider how Langer inspired Martin Kaymer to become perhaps the world's dominant golfer in the decade leading up to the 2018 match. He has the potential.
But just as likely, the staging of the contest near Paris will prompt the emergence of new French talent. There is every chance given the way France traditionally embraces the development of elite sport.
As for honouring the memory of Seve, that will come. The European Tour has revealed it is actively considering what would be an expensive process of changing its logo to reflect the great man's contribution to golf.
There will also be news on the Seve Trophy in the coming weeks and months. The biennial match between Continental Europe and Great Britain and Ireland is not the cash cow that is the Ryder Cup, but is an ideal vehicle to display sentiment and gratitude towards the man who did more than any other to popularise the European game.