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European Tour loses Madrid Masters

Lee Slattery will be unable to defend his 2011 Madrid Masters title following sponsor Bankia's withdrawal.

Story highlights

  • European Tour confirms that Madrid Masters has been canceled
  • Tournament's main sponsor Bankia was recently bailed out due to Eurozone crisis
  • Madrid Masters had been due to take place from September 20-23
  • Despite pan-European economic turmoil, all other tour dates to continue as planned

The Madrid Masters will be missing from the European Tour for the foreseeable future due to the financial crisis in Spain.

Spain has been badly affected by the Eurozone crisis, and the golf tournament's main sponsor Spanish bank Bankia was recently bailed out to the tune of $23 billion in May.

Madrid was keen to host the event, which was scheduled to be held from September 20-23, but needs nearly $1 million of sponsorship to do so.

"We have known of the troubles facing the Spanish leg of the tour for some time now, but had held out hope of receiving funding," chief operating officer of the European Tour Keith Waters told CNN.

"It eventually just proved too challenging. The only people who face losing any money are the players -- there's one less prize for them to win now. All of the money invested in the tournament was yet to be paid."

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Waters said was unlikely that the Madrid event would return to the European calendar next year.

"Planning for next season's tour is already at advanced stages, with the schedule to be announced in the coming weeks. You never know, a generous backer could emerge, but it is unlikely," he said.

Despite the pan-European economic turmoil, all other dates on the European Tour are currently set to go ahead as planned.