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Tour History

1901
— PGA founded with offices in Bishopgate, London
1966
— PGA Offices moved to Oval cricket ground, London
1971
— John Jacobs appointed Tournament Director-General of the PGA (1.10.71).This marked the official birth of The PGA European Tour
1972
— The Tour started with, in addition to John Jacobs, John Bywaters MBE as Secretary of the PGA, George Simms as Press & PR Advisor and, in the field, Arthur Crawley-Bovey as Tournament Director and Eddie Carter as Recorder
— Prize money and points from European tournaments included in Order of Merit
1975
— Ken Schofield appointed First Secretary and Executive Director, following John Jacobs (1.01.75)
— Tour title: PGA Tournament Players’ Section
— Order of Merit based on prize money instead of points
1976
— Tour title: PGA Tournament Players’ Division
— Sunday finishes started in selected tournaments
— Pre-tournament Pro-Ams introduced
— Annual Qualifying School started at three courses in UK with 127 cards to be won
1977
— Tour title: PGA European Tournament Players’ Division
— Safari Tour co-sponsored by the PGA ETPD
— 36-hole cut raised from 50 and ties to 65 and ties
— Neil Coles made Chairman of TPD Committee Representatives with Angel Gallardo as Vice-Chairman
1979
— Tour title: PGA European Golf Tour
— European players included in Ryder Cup teams
— Qualifying School moved to Portugal 1980
— “Order of Merit” changed to “Official Money List”
— Minimum number of tournaments to be played for inclusion on Official Money list raised from five to seven
1981
— PGA European Golf Tour offices moved from the Oval to Wentworth in Surrey (16.4.81)
— R & A granted exemption into The Open Championship to the top ten (in the top 25), not otherwise exempt, at the State Express Classic
1982
— Tour title: PGA European Tour
— Prize money (Reserve Money) paid to those finishing beyond 65th
— Introduction of performance statistics
— Qualifying School moved to La Manga, Spain
— The Tunisian Open at El Kantaoui makes the start of an expansion programme by The European Tour to take the professional game global and further popularise the sport.
1984
— PGA European Tour made a limited Company
— Formation of PGA European Tour Enterprises Ltd with George O’Grady as Managing Director
— “Official Money List” changed back to “Order of Merit”
— Placing in Order of Merit to obtain membership at end of season reduced from 150 to 125
— Pre-Qualifying for entry to Qualifying School started at La Manga
1985
— Introduction of the All-Exempt Tour (tournament pre-qualifying discontinued)
— Winter base of PGA European Tour set up at La Manga, Spain
1986
— Introduction of Associate, Temporary and Affiliated Memberships
— Formation of PGA European Tour South office in Barcelona
— Pre-Qualifying for Qualifying School introduced in two stages
— PQ1 in UK and PQ2 in Spain
— Minimum number of tournaments to be played for inclusion in the Order of Merit raised from seven to nine
— Introduction of the Satellite Tour
— Exemption into The Open Championship reduced from the top ten (in the top 25) to the top five (in the top 25), not otherwise exempt, at the Car Care Plan International
1987
— Introduction of the one-ball rule
— Agreement announced at PGA Championship that Volvo would become first corporate sponsor to commence in
— First Senior British Open at Turnberry won by Neil Coles

1988
— Volvo Tour sanctioned by The PGA European Tour started with prize money exceeding £10m
— Formation of PGA European Properties and Tour Developments companies
— Placing in Order of Merit to retain Membership at end of season reduced from 125 to 120
— Introduction by Volvo of bonuses to be paid to the top 15 in the Volvo Order of Merit providing that they played in the Volvo Masters. This money was “official”
1989
— PGA European Satellite Tour started with its own Order of Merit with the top five being eligible for full PGA European Tour Membership the following season under Category 11(b). Best nine results in three different countries to count
— Apollo Week Training School first staged
1990
— PGA European Tour and Professional Golfers’ Association announced formation of the Ryder Cup Joint Venture (21.11.90)
— PGA European Satellite Tour renamed PGA European Challenge Tour
— Challenge Tour Rankings required a minimum of five tournaments to qualify for inclusion
— Establishment of the PGA European Tour Andalucian headquarters at San Roque, Spain
— Qualifying School moved to Massane Montpellier and La Grande Motte in France
— Additional office opened in Chobham, Surrey (November)
— Twice yearly re-ranking of those who won cards at the previous autumn’s Qualifying School introduced
— First Seniors event staged in Geneva and won by Neil Coles
1991
— Number of cards available under Category 11(b) raised from top five of Challenge Tour Rankings to top ten
— Number of cards available at Qualifying School reduced from top 50 to 40
— Formation of PGA European Tour Productions (26.4.91)
— a joint venture company with Trans World International
1992
— Exemption period for tournament winners in Category 5 reduced to the rest of the year plus two years (from three years)
— Introduction of new Exemption Category whereby a player finishing in top ten of a tournament will be exempt for the next tournament
— Start of the PGA European Seniors Tour with minimum of two events for inclusion in Money List
— Formation of European Golf Design (19.2.92)
— a joint venture company with International Management Group
— Formation of PGA European Tour Courses (IMG) Limited
— a joint venture company with International Management Group
— First PGA European Tour Course acquired at Collingtree Park (August 1992)
— Challenge Tour Rankings
— Best 15 results to count with a minimum of six tournaments to be played to qualify for inclusion
— PGA European Tour Physiotherapy Unit introduced
1993
— Combined Volvo Tour, Seniors Tour and Challenge Tour events totaled more than 100 with total prize money exceeding £25 million
— Three-year television agreement with Sky Sports announced
— Minimum number of tournaments to be played for inclusion in the Order of Merit raised from nine to 11
— Ryder Cup Qualifying Points List extended to include points earned over a complete calendar year (September to August)
— PGA European Seniors Tour Money List
— Minimum number of events to qualify for inclusion raised to three
1994
— 20th Anniversary of start of BBC Television coverage of Tour events
— Valderrama in Spain announced as first Continental host venue for The Ryder Cup (1997)
— Challenge Tour Rankings
— All cheques to count
1995
— First ten in Ryder Cup Qualifying Points List to be in the team automatically, with the Captain having two choices
— Ryder Cup Qualifying Points List to include points earned from winnings in the Masters Tournament, US Open Championship and US PGA Championship
— The PGA European Tour and Volvo announced a partnership extension for a further four year period from 1996 to 1999. Volvo to remain as principal sponsor of the Tour; PGA European Tour to revert to and operate under its own name
— Further four year television agreement with Sky Television announced to include 1997 and 1999 Ryder Cups, and exclusive live broadcasts of 26 tournaments each season from 1997 to 2000
— Number of cards available at Qualifying School raised to include top 40 and ties — Combined Volvo Tour, Seniors Tour and Challenge Tour events had total prize money exceeding £30 million
— The Golf Channel renews its contract with The European Tour to continue exclusive tournament coverage in the United States, Canada and Japan through 2003
— In Spain Canal+ signs enhanced contract to broadcast extensive coverage of The European Tour
— The European Tour, on behalf of The European Ryder Cup Committee, signs a new four year contract with Sky Television to include exclusive, live coverage of the 2001 and 2003 Ryder Cups in addition to a minimum of 33 Tour events annually, and announces that BBC Television has committed to a new contract through 2003 to guarantee strong and increased terrestrial highlight coverage of The Ryder Cup in 2001 and 2003
1996
— 25th Anniversary of the foundation of The PGA European Tour
— Bernard Gallacher awarded OBE in New Year’s Honours
— The Top 115 (previously 120) in the 1996 Order of Merit to qualify for Category 11 Membership in 1997 with those in positions 116-150 qualifying for Category 13 Membership
— The leading 15 players (previously ten) from the final 1996 European Challenge Tour Rankings to qualify for Category 11(b) Membership in 1997
— PGA European Tour and BBC Television sign a new four year contract which will extend to more than 25 years a partnership that has seen the Tour’s most prestigious events given outstanding coverage
— The Brabazon Course at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England, announced as host for The Ryder Cup in 2001
— Ken Schofield appointed CBE and Sam Torrance MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours
— The PGA European Tour, The PGA Tour, the PGA Tour of South Africa, The PGA Tour of Australasia and the PGA Tour of Japan announce the formation of the International Federation of PGA Tours
1997
— Tournament Committee approves the three United States Majors (Masters Tournament, US Open Championship and US PGA Championship) to count towards minimum number of 11 tournaments for inclusion in Order of Merit. Money won is not official
— Category One Membership of European Tour reformed (effective 1998) to comprise the four Major Championships and winner of the Order of Merit (Exemption period ten years). Category 2 reformed to comprise Volvo PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank-SAP TPC of Europe, Smurfit European Open, Canon European Masters and Volvo Masters. (Exemption period five years)
— Prize Money for the 1997 Volvo Masters increased to a record £1,000,000, and Volvo PGA Championship to £1,100,000
— European Seniors Tour announce the introduction of an all-exempt system.
— John Jacobs, “father” of The European Tour, awarded the OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours
— Dr James McDaid, T.D. Irish Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, and Ken Schofield announce a unique partnership between the European Tour and Failte Ireland involving a major new joint eight year marketing strategy for Irish golf holidays. The strategy will culminate in The Ryder Cup taking place in Ireland in 2005
— The PGA European Tour, as a Member of The International Federation of PGA Tours, announce the launch in 1999 of the World Golf Championships– a series of events that will feature the game’s top players competing against each other in a variety of competitive formats on the international stage
1998
— European Challenge Tour celebrates Tenth Anniversary season
— Volvo PGA Championship Prize Fund increased to £1,200,000 with landmark first prize of £200,000
— Record European Tour Prize Money of £1,250,000 announced for Smurfit European Open
— Colin Montgomerie appointed MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to golf, prior to collecting a record sixth successive Order of Merit title
— Sam Torrance reaches milestone by playing in his 600th European Tour event
1999
— Three World Golf Championships starting this year in addition to the four Major Championships to count towards the 11 tournaments in which a player must compete for Membership of The European Tour
— Money won from the World Golf Championships in addition to the US Open Championship and the US PGA Championship to be official in the Order of Merit
— Official Money won on the 1999 European Tour to be presented in euros with both the Order of Merit and The Ryder Cup Points Table being calculated using the new European currency
— The European Tour and Volvo announce an extension to their partnership, first established in 1988, through to and including the 2002 season
— The Kildare Hotel and Country Club – The K Club – announced as host venue for The Ryder Cup in 2005
— Bob Charles made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours List
— Paul Lawrie becomes the first player since 1963, when the qualifying system was introduced, to win The Open Championship after successfully making it through final Qualifying. In all he played 112 holes at Downfield and Carnoustie to become the first Scot to win on home soil since Tommy Armour in 1931
— The Golf Channel renews its contract with The European Tour to continue exclusive tournament coverage in the United States, Canada and Japan through 2003
— In Spain Canal+ signs enhanced contract to broadcast extensive coverage of The European Tour
— The European Tour, on behalf of The European Ryder Cup Committee, signs a new four year contract with Sky Television to include exclusive, live coverage of the 2001 and 2003 Ryder Cups in addition to a minimum of 33Tour events annually, and announces that BBC Television has committed to a new contract through 2003 to guarantee strong and increased terrestrial high light coverage of The Ryder Cup in 2001 and 2003
2000
— Money won from the Masters Tournament to be official in the Order of Merit
— 36-hole cut raised from 65 and ties to 70 and ties
— World Cup of Golf becomes fourth event in the World Golf Championships — Tommy Horton appointed MBE in the New Year’s Honours
— Sir Michael Bonallack, who becomes a Non-Executive Director of The European Tour Board of Directors; Neil Coles, who by winning the Microlease Jersey Seniors Open at the age of 65 years and 10 months becomes the first golfer in history to win a professional event in six different decades; and John Jacobs, ‘father’ of The European Tour, elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame
— Colin Montgomerie becomes to first player to win the Volvo PGA Championship three years in succession
— Paul Lawrie, winner of the 128th Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1999, appointed MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List
— Record prize money of £2,000,000 announced for the Volvo Masters
— Lee Westwood becomes only the fourth golfer in European Tour history to capture six titles in one season on the way to finishing Number One in the Order of Merit with a record €3,125,146 (£1,858,602)
— Six Partners – IBM, Ireland 2005, KPMG, Lucent Technologies, Pfizer and Regus – announced for The 34th Ryder Cup to be played at The Belfry on September 28-30, 2001
2001
— The European Tour celebrates its 30th anniversary with confirmed record money of €97,143,310 (£60,399,735)
— Björn Nordberg joins The European Tour as a Non-Executive Director
— Volvo PGA Championship prize money increased to a record £2 million
— Ireland’s Des Smyth wins the Madeira Island Open to become the oldest winner on The European Tour at 48 years and 34 days, surpassing the 48 years and 14 days of Neil Coles
— Tiger Woods, the World Number One, makes history by winning the Masters Tournament to become the first player to hold all Major Championships simultaneously
— Bernhard Langer of Germany elected to World Golf Hall of Fame
— The Scottish Open returns to The European Tour International Schedule after an absence of five years, with a record prize fund of £2.2 million
— The Board of The European Tour announces the findings of an Independent Audit to Members
— New Zealand’s Michael Campbell made an Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit Award for services to golf in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List
— John Jacobs, the founding father of The European Tour, inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame
— Eamonn Darcy plays 600th European Tour event at Trophée Lancôme. Roger Chapman and Malcolm Mackenzie make their 500th appearances in 2001
— The 34th Ryder Cup at The Belfry postponed until September 2002 in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Future Ryder Cups switched to even years
— Host venues announced for 2010 and 2014 Ryder Cups with The Celtic Manor Resort staging the 2010 edition and The Gleneagles Hotel hosting the event in 2014. A rotation system throughout the Continent announced for 2018 to 2030
2002
— Max Faulkner awarded the OBE in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, half a century after his victory in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush. Faulkner later received the award from The Prince of Wales at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace
— John Jacobs OBE, founding father of The European Tour, accorded Life Membership of the Professional Golfers Association, only the eighth person to receive that honour
— Mark Mouland of Wales and Scotland’s Gordon Brand Jnr receive awards from The European Tour for reaching the landmark of 500 tournaments at the Novotel Perrier Open de France and Volvo PGA Championship respectively
— The Golf Channel reach agreement with The European Tour to show European Tour events in the United States, Canada and Japan through 2007
— The European Tour Sport Relief Challenge raises a grand total of £35,692 for charity
— Neil Coles, Chairman of The European Tour Board of Directors, extends his own record as the oldest winner on the European Seniors Tour, winning the Lawrence Batley Seniors Open at the age of 67 years and 276 days. Sadly, Lawrence Batley dies, aged 91, in August
— The European Tour Physiotherapy Unit, which had travelled to more than 300 tournaments throughout Europe, celebrates its tenth anniversary during the BMW International Open in Munich
— Tony Jacklin and Bernhard Langer inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida
2003
— Sam Torrance, Europe’s winning Captain in The 34th Ryder Cup, awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List, seven years after receiving an MBE. European Team win Golf Writers’ Trophy for 2002.
— Ken Schofield, Executive Director of The European Tour, awarded the PGA of Europe’s Christer Lindberg Bowl for his contribution to golf. Sir Michael Bonallack succeeds Jaime Ortiz Patiño as President of the PGA of Europe
— The Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard, accorded “Major” status, 16 years after the event was founded by The European Tour and IMG
— The Golf Channel Presenter, Renton Laidlaw, named as the 2003 recipient of the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism
— Sky Sports secures exclusive live rights to The Ryder Cup, two Major Championships and a minimum of 34 tournaments on The European Tour International Schedule in a series of new long-term agreements
— The R&A announce that they will introduce International Final Qualifying for The 2004 Open Championship at Royal Troon
— The European qualification process for The 35th Ryder Cup changed to reflect the growing influence of the Official World Golf Ranking. The change will see five players qualify through accumulating World Ranking points over a 12 month period with five further places via the traditional Ryder Cup points list based on the Order of Merit
— Mark McCormack, founder, Chairman and CEO of IMG and the man universally recognised as the inventor of sports marketing, died in a New York hospital in May, having been in a coma since January when he suffered cardiac arrest
— Peter Alliss, a leading professional and Ryder Cup player before becoming one of the most respected commentators on television with the BBC, is accorded Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour
— BBC Sport and The European Tour sign a new five-year agreement, ensuring that BBC golf coverage will continue across BBC1, BBC Radio Five Live and BBCi until 2008
— John Jacobs OBE, the founding father of The European Tour, is honoured by the Association of Golf Writers with the Michael Williams Outstanding Services Award
— Pádraig O’hUiginn, who for 11 years between 1982 and 1993 was Secretary of the Department of the Taoiseach, becomes a Life Vice President of the Tour in recognition of his pivotal role in cultivating professional golf in Ireland.
— Ulf Lauren, former Chief Executive of PLM and Chairman of the Swedish Golf Federation and Scandinavian Masters, becomes a Life Vice President of the Tour in recognition of his contribution to tournament Golf in Sweden
— Scotland’s Bernard Gallacher, who played in eight Ryder Cups between 1969 and 1983 and Captained Europe on three occasions, in 1991, 1993 and1995, accorded Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour
— Ken Schofield CBE, Executive Director of The European Tour since 1975, to step aside at end of 2004. George O'Grady, his deputy since 1989, announced as his successor
2004
— The Red Bull Physiotherapy Unit is launched on The European Tour during he 61st Telecom Italia Open in Milan after a substantial re-fit
— John Jacobs, the Founding Father of The European Tour and leading television commentator, Peter Alliss, accept invitations to become Honorary Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
— A new administration and structure confirmed for The Ryder Cup to include the introduction of the PGAs of Europe and with The European Tour becoming Managing Partner and the PGA Founding Partner
— The 50th edition of the PGA Championship, and by coincidence the 1000th event on The European Tour, was held at Wentworth Club, with Scotland’s Scott Drummond lifting the title
— The European Tour and Volvo announce a new global strategy for Volvo, which sees the company’s title sponsorship of the PGA Championship and the Order of Merit come to an end, but the Volvo Masters and the Volvo China Open contracted until the end of 2007, taking Volvo’s participation to a minimum of 20 years
— The HSBC World Match Play Championship becomes an officially sanctioned tournament on The European Tour International Schedule with results counting towards The European Tour Order of Merit and the Official World Golf Ranking
— Ken Schofield CBE, outgoing Executive Director of The European Tour, receives the Association of Golf Writers Award for Outstanding Services to Golf
— To coincide with their 70th and 80th birthdays respectively, England’s Neil Coles, Chairman of The PGA European Tour, and Christy O’Connor of Ireland accorded Honorary Life Membership along with John Panton of Scotland in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the game
2005
— George O’Grady succeeds Ken Schofield, CBE, as Chief Executive of The European Tour (01.01.05)
— BMW and The European Tour announce a new partnership to develop the BMW Championship – the PGA Championship – at Wentworth Club from 2005 to 2008. Additionally, BMW become Official Car to The European Tour
— The European Tour, as Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe LLP, confirms the composition of The Ryder Cup Policy Board as part of the new administration put in place ahead of The 36th Ryder Cup at The K Club
— Welshman Brian Huggett honoured for his Contribution to Golf by the Professional Golfers’ Association in Cardiff
— The European Tour supports the Tsunami Aid Appeal with a $100,000 donation to Indonesia during the Enjoy Jakarta Standard Chartered Indonesia Open in Jakarta
— Aberdeen Asset Management announce a three year deal to sponsor the Senior British Open Championship, which paid its first visit to Royal Aberdeen Golf Club
— The European Seniors Tour announces that Bahrain will become the latest new venue on the schedule, staging the 2005 Arcapita Seniors Tour Championship
— The 1000th edition of the Official World Golf Ranking was published on Monday, May 30, following the completion of the BMW Championship and other events around the world. Tiger Woods was ranked Number One that week while Bernhard Langer was the first to achieve that official position
— The first US Open Qualifier held in the UK at Walton Heath sees Michael Campbell qualify for the Championship at Pinehurst No. 2. He goes on to win his first Major Championship
— New Zealand’s Michael Campbell accorded Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour to mark his accomplishment of winning the US Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2
— The 36-hole cut on The European Tour to revert to 65 and ties for the 2006 season following five years at 70 and ties
2006
— Bernhard Langer, Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup Captain at Oakland Hills, awarded an Honorary OBE from The Queen for his services to golf
— Mark McCormack, founder of IMG, inducted posthumously into the World Golf Hall of Fame at St Augustine in Florida — Frenchman Adrien Mörk carded the first official score of 59 in the history of The European, Challenge and Seniors Tours during the second round of the 2006 Tikida Hotels Agadir Moroccan Classic on the Challenge Tour
— Ian Woosnam, Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain in 2006, reaches the milestone of 500 events on The European Tour International Schedule at the BMW Championship at Wentworth Club
— Carl Mason of England became only the third golfer to go through the €1m barrier in European Seniors Tour earnings after Tommy Horton and Noel Ratcliffe. Mason achieved the feat at the 2006 FIRSTPLUS Wales Seniors Open in June
— Muirfield in Scotland is announced as the venue for The 2007 Senior British Open Championship, presented by Aberdeen Asset Management, from July 26-29, 2007. It will be the first time Muirfield has featured on the European Seniors Tour
— Sam Torrance becomes the first player in European Tour history to notch up 700 tournaments when he tees up in The Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond
— Challenge Tour receives direct support from The Ryder Cup, with tournaments in Ireland (Ryder Cup hosts in 2006), Wales (Ryder Cup hosts in 2010) and Scotland (Ryder Cup hosts in 2014) primarily funded by Ryder Cup Europe
— The Open de France ALSTOM celebrates its 100th anniversary at Le Golf National in Paris
— Junior Golf Ireland receives a cheque for €50,000 from The Ryder Cup European Development Trust
— The English quartet of Maurice Bembridge, David Creamer, Malcolm Gregson and Jim Rhodes all reach 200 events on the European Seniors Tour. The only other player to have reached this milestone is Tommy Horton, also of England
— Ken Schofield CBE, former Executive Director of The European Tour, succeeds Sir Michael Bonallack as President of the Golf Foundation
— England’s Malcolm Mackenzie becomes the fourth player to reach 600 tournaments on The European Tour at the BMW International Open in Munich following Sam Torrance, Roger Chapman and Eamonn Darcy
— Seve Ballesteros honoured by The European Tour to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his first Tour victory in the 1976 Dutch Open
— Ireland’s Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and representatives of Ryder Cup Europe LLP handed over 20 minibuses purchased from a series of initiatives involving The Ryder Cup, which raised €800,000 for the Links Golfing Society. Sales of the Official Ryder Cup programme raised a further €61,756 for the Society and the Darren Clarke Foundation
— Paul Casey completes a remarkable double by following his success as winner of the RBS Shot of the Year by being named The European Tour Golfer of the Year for 2006
2007
— The amount of money injected into the Irish economy by The 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland reached a record €143 million, according to a report by Deloitte & Touche, jointly commissioned by Ryder Cup Europe and Fáilte Ireland (The Irish Tourism Development Authority)
— Five time Major Champion Seve Ballesteros announced his retirement from golf at the age of 50 during an emotional press conference, prior to The Open Championship at Carnoustie, where Padraig Harrington ended eight years without a European Major winner
— The European Tour and Leisurecorp, the company developing Dubai’s leading residential golf community at Jumeirah Golf Estates, announced an initial five-year partnership to create the Dubai World Championship, the world’s richest golf tournament with a US$10,000,000 prize fund and a US$10,000,000 Bonus Pool
2008
- The European Challenge Tour, which was launched in 1989, celebrated its 20th anniversary
- Barry Lane became only the fifth player to clock up 600 tournament appearances in the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy
- The European Tour regained the ownership and control of The PGA European Tour Courses after reaching an agreement with businessman Denis O’Brien which saw the Tour take control of the existing network of licensed international venues
- The Ryder Cup Development Trust, set up in 2004, announced that in excess of €2.2 million had been raised to assist grassroots projects across the Continent of Europe
- Leisurecorp, the company developing Dubai’s leading residential golf community at Jumeirah Golf Estates, unveiled the improved and re-branded European Tour Physiotherapy Unit at a ceremony in Spain
- The new Twenty Ten course and clubhouse – the only golf course in history to be purpose built for The Ryder Cup – was officially opened on the eve of the Celtic Manor Wales Open
- Two long-standing events on The European Tour celebrated special anniversaries, with the UBS Hong Kong Open being played for the 50th time and the BMW International Open for the 20th occasion
- The R&A announced an increase in the number of places at The 2009 Open Championship from 20 to 30 for both The 2008 European Tour Order of Merit and US PGA Tour Money List
- The Omega European Masters to be co-sanctioned for the first time in 2009 following an historic agreement between The European Tour and the Asian Tour
- The eagerly-awaited Race to Dubai, covering 52 tournaments over a 12-month season, was launched during the HSBC Champions in Shanghai with the climax taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November 2009
2009
- Colin Montgomerie announced as European Captain for The 2010 Ryder Cup. Montgomerie also made it 500 appearances as a professional on The European Tour when he played in the Open de Andalucia de Golf 09
- Nick Faldo knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Only the second golfer to be knighted after Sir Henry Cotton
- Christy O’Connor and José Maria Olazábal inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame
- HSBC Champions elevated to World Golf Championships event for the first time
- Golf wins bid to be part of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro at the International Olympic Committee’s 121st Session in Copenhagen
- The six bidding nations for 2018 Ryder Cup are confirmed as France, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden
- Emma Villacieros made Honorary Life Vice President of The European Tour
- The West Course at Wentworth Club closes immediately after the BMW PGA Championship for extensive renovations and the redesign of several holes, including the signature 18th which will have an elevated green behind a new water hazard
- Seve Ballesteros presented with Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, and is also made R&A Honorary Member
2010
- Europe won The Ryder Cup 14½-13½ at The Celtic Manor Resort under the leadership of Colin Montgomerie, who was subsequently named BBC Sports Personality Coach of the Year. The Team also won BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year 
- European Tour members claimed three of the four Majors, with Graeme McDowell clinching the US Open, Louis Oosthuizen triumphing at The Open Championship and Martin Kaymer winning the US PGA Championship. The three received Honorary Life Membership of The European Tour
- Kaymer won The Race to Dubai after four victories - the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the US PGA, the KLM Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - and record season earnings
- Kaymer and McDowell were named joint winners of The European Tour Golfer of the Year award
- At the Laureus World Sports Awards, Kaymer won the World Breakthrough of the Year award, and the European Ryder Cup team were nominated for World Sports Team of the Year, but lost out to the World Cup-winning Spain national football team
- Golf was announced as an Olympic sport, to be included from the 2016 Games
- Italian teenager Matteo Manassero became the youngest player ever to make the cut at the Masters, and in finishing tied 36th produced the best performance by a European amateur for 73 years. He would later win the Castello Masters Costa Azahar and be named the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year
- Graeme McDowell's tricky putt on the 16th green during his singles match against Hunter Mahan on the final day of The Ryder Cup, which contributed to him claiming the winning point for Europe, won The European Tour Shot of the Year award
- Lee Westwood became World Number One on October 31, ending Tiger Woods' 281-week reign
- George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, was appointed a CBE for services to sport
- Claude-Roger Cartier, Jaime Ortiz-Patino and Johann Rupert were named Honorary Life Vice Presidents of The European Tour
- It was announced the World Cup would become a biennial event, with the next edition taking place in 2011
2011
- European Tour members were victorious in the first three Majors of the year, with South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel taking The Masters title, Rory McIlroy storming to US Open glory and Darren Clarke picking up the Claret Jug at The Open Championship. These three titles also made it six Majors in a row for European Tour members dating back to Graeme McDowell’s terrific US Open victory in June 2010.
- Luke Donald took the golfing world by storm in 2011 picking up three titles on The European Tour en route to Race to Dubai glory, which when teamed with his Money List success on the PGA Tour, made him the first golfer in history to be number one in both Europe and America.
- Thanks to his feats in 2011 Donald also received much acclaim from those in and around the game, and was named The European Tour Golfer of the Year. He also received Player of the Year honours on the PGA Tour as well as accolades from the PGA of America and the Golf Writers of both Europe and the US.
- The Englishman also won The European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW Championship, after a playoff victory over compatriot Lee Westwood, and in doing so, he usurped the Englishman as World Number One.
- Donald would remain there for the next 31 weeks and head into 2012 atop the ranking, but it was Lee Westwood that had started the season at number one. He would eventually lose that spot to Germany’s Martin Kaymer towards the end of February having been there for 17 weeks, with the German remaining there for a further nine, before Westwood returned for another five week stint at the top of the game.
- European Tour members were also in receipt of further accolades, with Darren Clarke picking up the ‘Comeback of the Year’ at the Laureus World Sports Awards, and Rory McIlroy receiving the ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ trophy. The pair were also honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List with Clarke being given an OBE and McIlroy an MBE.
- Another honour that the Northern Irishmen received was Honorary Membership to The European Tour thanks to their Major triumphs, and they were joined in the class of 2011 by fellow Major winner Charl Schwartzel and England’s Lee Westwood.
- Finally, Rory McIlroy took The European Tour Shot of the Year award thanks to his stunning 6-iron approach to the daunting par 3 tenth hole at Congressional CC in the final round en route to US Open glory. He did in fact have three shots in the running for the title, but it was this that came out most popular amongst fans of europeantour.com.
2012
- The European Tour celebrated its 40th anniversary, marked appropriately at the centenary festivities at the Open de España, which was the first tournament to be played when the Tour was born in April 1972, won by Antonio Garrido.
- Europe won The Ryder Cup 14½ - 13½ at Medinah Country Club, Illinois, under the stewardship of Captain José María Olazábal, who inspired his charges to the greatest final day comeback on away soil in the history of the biennial contest.
- Two out of the four Major Championships were claimed by European Tour Members as Ernie Els won his second Open Championship – ten years after his first – at Royal Lytham & St Annes, while Rory McIlroy again lapped the field in capturing his second Major by eight shots at the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
- Just as Luke Donald had historically achieved a year previously, McIlroy finished 2012 as World Number One, European Number One and US PGA Tour Number One thanks to five victories worldwide – including a stylish finale as the Northern Irishman rubber-stamped his annus mirabilis with success at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai to win The Race to Dubai.
- In tribute to his achievements, McIlroy received numerous accolades including The European Tour Golfer of the Year. He also received Player of the Year honours on the PGA Tour as well as awards from the PGA of America and the Golf Writers of both Europe and the US.
- Luke Donald made a successful defence of his BMW PGA Championship title, becoming just the third player to win The European Tour’s flagship event in back-to-back years following Sir Nick Faldo (1980-1981) and Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000).
- After reclaiming his European Tour card at the Qualifying School in December 2011, South Africa’s Branden Grace became the first to win four times the year after graduation with triumphs at the Joburg Open, Volvo Golf Champions, Volvo China Open and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
- There were three age-related records set as Matteo Manassero became the first teenager to win three times on The European Tour with victory at the Barclays Singapore Open; Miguel Angel Jimenez’s success at the UBS Hong Kong Open saw the Spaniard become the oldest winner on The European Tour at 48 years and 318 days beating Des Smyth’s 11 year old record; while the Volvo China Open saw home prospect Guan Tian-lang become the youngest player to compete in a European Tour event at the age of 13 years and 177 days.
- The Irish Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club became the first European Tour event to be sold out on all four tournament days as 112,280 people flocked through the gates of the County Antrim venue.
- European Tour Properties added Germany’s Golf Club St. Leon-Rot – host venue for The 2015 Solheim Cup – and The Dutch in neighbouring Netherlands, where the KLM Open is set to be staged from 2016 to 2018, to its portfolio, taking the total number of European Tour Destinations to five.
- European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady awarded Honorary Life Membership to Luke Donald after his stunning transatlantic exploits in 2011, while Tommy Horton, Brian Huggett, Mark James and Roger Chapman’s outstanding contributions to European golf were also recognised with Honorary Life Membership. Chapman was afforded the recognition after an historic Senior Major Championship double during a fairytale 2012 season, as the Englishman triumphed at both the US Senior PGA Championship and subsequently the US Senior Open.

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