Six new tournaments, seven new venues and a minimum of 47 tournaments across 11 months, are some of the many highlights of The 2015 European Tour International Schedule which is announced in full today.
The global appeal of The European Tour is highlighted in particular by the six new events: three of which are in the east – China, India and Thailand; two of which are in Europe – Germany and Scotland; and one in Africa in Mauritius.
Two of the new tournaments – the Thailand Classic and the Hero Indian Open – are played in consecutive weeks in mid- February; the month of January having been dominated once again by the traditional Desert Swing of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The new Shenzhen International is the first of two tournaments back to back in China in mid-April, while the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in the opening week of May holds the distinction of being the first tri-sanctioned tournament between The European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour.
Completing the line-up of new events for 2015 are the two in Europe; the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay in Scotland at the end of July and the return of the European Open to the calendar in Germany at the end of September, five weeks before the traditional four-tournament Final Series kicks off once again with the BMW Masters in Shanghai.
Earlier in the year, following the staging of the Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in May, the following week sees the Irish Open move to a new date to coincide with its new association with World Number One and newly crowned 2014 Race to Dubai Champion Rory McIlroy.
The Irish Open hosted by The Rory Foundation will be staged at Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland, one of seven new venues taking their place on the 2015 schedule, the others being: Black Mountain Golf Club (Thailand Classic), Heritage Golf Club (AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open), Chambers Bay Golf Club (US Open), Gullane Golf Club (Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open), Murcar Golf Links (Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay), and Golf Resort Bad Griesbach (European Open).
Other significant dates moves include the Maybank Malaysian Open, at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, moving from April to the first week of February as the event celebrates its tenth anniversary with the same title sponsor, while the Omega European Masters moves from its traditional September slot to the last week of July, following the 144th Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are very pleased to announce our full schedule for 2015, a schedule which offers our Membership diversity, interest, excitement and variety at a host of wonderful venues in all four corners of the globe.
“We are delighted to have been able to add so many new tournaments and destinations to the Tour and we are pleased that our scheduling has enabled us to create significant clusters of tournaments in the same regions of the world whether that be in Asia, the Middle East or indeed South Africa where we have six events next season.
“Our thanks, as always, go to our Federation and co-sanctioning partners, sponsors and promoters for their continued support of The European Tour, and we can all look forward to a strong opening to The 2015 Race to Dubai, which will appeal to our membership as well as the many followers of The European Tour around the world.”