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ITALY

Rome to host Ryder Cup for first time ever

The Italian capital of Rome is to host the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2022, Ryder Cup Europe announced on Monday.

Rome to host Ryder Cup for first time ever
Rome is to host the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2022. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images North America/AFP

The Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, which is 17 kilometres from the centre of Rome, will be the third venue on continental Europe to host the biennial clash opposing professional teams from Europe and the United States.

The others are Valderrama in Spain, which was the venie in 1997 and the Le Golf National in Versailles, which will be the venue in 2018.

Four nations – Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain – had been competing for the right to stage the 2022 edition.

But after inspecting all four sites in recent months, organisers finally plumped for Rome, whose venue is only 17km from the centre of the 'Eternal City'.

From the 17th tee, players and fans alike can spot the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica on a clear day, although the venue's various transport links to the capital and its thousands of hotels were a key factor in the final decision, as well as Italy's pledge to use their staging of the tournament to further develop the sport throughout the country.

“We are a country of 60 million people and we have only 100,000 golfers, so the potential is huge,” Durante told AFP in an interview last month.

Founded by and still owned by celebrated fashion designer Laura Biagiotti and her family, the Marco Simone Club hosted the Italian Open in 1994.

Rome organizers now have seven years in which to carry out the changes to the course that will be necessary to test the mettle of the world's top golfers

The statement added: “The Italian bid was consistently strong across all the areas evaluated and in particular in their pledge to undertake a complete reconstruction of the golf course at Marco Simone to the highest standards demanded by Ryder Cup Europe, in addition to a hugely significant commitment to the Italian Open in terms of guaranteeing a €7 million prize fund for the championship for 11 years, beginning in 2017.”

Next year's tournament will be held in Hazeltine National in Minnesota, while France will host the 2018 event and Whistling Straits in Wisconsin hosts the 2020 Ryder Cup, two years before it returns to the old continent.

 

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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