News All Articles
From 1972 - 2022: A timeline of the Tour

From 1972 - 2022: A timeline of the Tour

The 2022 season marks the 50th anniversary of the European Tour, now known as the DP World Tour, and we continue to mark the special milestone by reviewing some of the major moments and accolades during the Tour’s advancement.

Following a 20-year battle to revolutionise the structure of tournament golf in Europe, John Jacobs (OBE), the Tour’s founding father, presided over the first season of the European Tour, now known as the DP World Tour, in 1972.

Watch as Sam Torrance, Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 1972, takes us on a look back over the past fifty years on Tour.

April 12 1972: The Open de España at Pals Golf Club in Girona – won by Spaniard Antonio Garrido – becomes the first official event on the Tour.

January 1 1975: Ken Schofield is appointed First Secretary and Executive Director of the Tour, replacing Jacobs.

April 15 1982: The Tunisian Open at El Kantaoui Golf Club stages the first tournament outside of Europe as part of a programme by the Tour to take the professional game global.

March 2 1989: The Tour visits Asia for the first time as part of its schedule for the Dubai Desert Classic.

February 16 1995: The Tour begins co-sanctioning tournaments with other Tours, starting with Southern African Tour (now the Sunshine Tour) as it stages the South African PGA Championship.

January 25 1996: Co-sanctioning arrangements expand as the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Heineken Classic is added to the Tour’s schedule.

May 21 1995: Seve Ballesteros, who remains the most decorated player in the Tour’s history, wins a record 50th, and final, title at the Open de Espana.

Seve Ballesteros-83737898

April 14 1996: Sir Nick Faldo wins the Masters, his sixth Major, and final victory on the DP World Tour to become the Tour’s most decorated member at Major Championships – a record he still holds.

February 24 1999: The World Golf Championships (WGC) are established in 1999, with the WGC Match Play Championship the first of three events that season to form part of the Tour’s expanding schedule.

January 1 2005: George O’Grady succeeds Ken Schofield as the third Chief Executive since the Tour’s inception.

October 30 2005: Colin Montgomerie claims record eighth Order of Merit title.

April 1 2007: Pablo Martín Benavides becomes the first amateur in history win a Tour event with victory at the Estoril Open de Portugal. Danny Lee and Shane Lowry have since matched the feat.

November 6 2008: The HSBC Champions, the opening event of the 2009 Tour schedule, marks the start of the ‘Race to Dubai’ which replaces the Order of Merit. The top 60 in the Race to Dubai qualify for the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.

November 22 2009: Lee Westwood wins the first Dubai World Championship and tops the Race to Dubai Rankings.

October 24 2010: Aged just 17 years and 188 days old, Matteo Manassero becomes the youngest winner on Tour with victory at the CASTELLO MASTERS.

January 1 2014: David Williams becomes Chairman of the Tour.

May 18 2014: Miguel Ángel Jiménez extends his own record as the oldest winner on Tour with victory at the Open de España, aged 50 years and 133 days.

April 17 2015: Keith Pelley is announced as the Tour’s new Chief Executive.

October 11 2016: The inaugural Hero Challenge, launched as a one-hole knockout contest featuring Tour players, is staged ahead of the British Masters at The Grove.

Hero Challenge 2016-613967006

May 25 2017: The BMW PGA Championship is the first tournament to form part of the Rolex Series, a premium category of tournaments carrying increased prize money and bringing together the best players on the Tour.

September 21 2018: England’s Oliver Fisher becomes the first player in Tour history, and to this day the only, to record a 59 during the second round of the Portugal Masters.

August 27 2020: Brendan Lawlor becomes the first golfer with a disability to compete in a Tour event at the ISPS Handa UK Championship.

Brendan Lawlor-1268700762

October 29 2020: The Aphrodite Cyprus Open at the Aphrodite Hills Resort sees Cyprus become the 50th different country to stage an event in the Tour’s history.

November 27 2020: DP World Tour and PGA TOUR announce landmark Strategic Alliance, which sees golf’s two major Tours collaborate on a number of areas, including global scheduling, prize funds, playing opportunities for the respective memberships and commercial opportunities.

February 21 2022: The DP World Tour launch G4D (Golf for the Disabled) with a minimum of seven events, culminating in the G4D Grand Finale in Dubai.

June 10 2021: As part of the Tour’s commitment to inclusivity in golf, the inaugural Scandinavian Mixed Hosted by Henrik & Annika – a co-sanctioned event with the Ladies European Tour – is held at Vallda Golf and Country Club near Gothenburg.

July 9 2021: DP World Tour and the Sunshine Tour announce new landmark partnership, continuing their already long-term relationship, to help improve the existing international pathway between the Tours.

July 29 2021: The ISPS HANDA World Invitational, another mixed event where men and women play for the same prize money, is elevated to DP World Tour status and is co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

ISPS Handa World Invitational -1234384398

September 5 2021: The Højgaard twins, Rasmus & Nicolai, become the first brothers in the Tour’s history to win back-to-back events at the Omega European Masters and the Italian Open.  

November 21 2021: Collin Morikawa becomes the first American to win the Race to Dubai, now known as the DP World Tour Rankings, as he also wins the DP World Tour Championship.

November 9 2021: DP World is announced as the Official Tour Title Partner.

January 12 2022: DP World Tour and ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia extend their Strategic Alliance, first announced in 2017, through until 2026.

Other important milestones in the history of the European Tour group

Since its inception in 1976, the Qualifying School has provided players from all over the world with a platform to make it to the DP World Tour.

The first event on the European Satellite Tour (now the Challenge Tour) is held in 1989 at the Open dei Tessali, won by England’s Neal Briggs.

The European Senior Tour, now the Legends Tour, is launched in 1992 and included The Senior Open – first staged in 1987 – as part of its schedule.

Read next