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Four of the best seasons in European Tour history

Four of the best seasons in European Tour history

We take a closer look at the four European Tour players who have achieved six victories in a single season

seve 1986

Just four European Tour players in history have achieved six tournament wins in a single season.

Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo are all certified European Tour and Ryder Cup legends, so it will come as no surprise that they all comprise this elite club.

Seve Ballesteros (1986)

Six official European Tour wins

The European Tour’s most decorated player, the late, great Seve has won exactly 50 titles on the tour in his illustrious career, and remains the only player to record six official tournament wins in one season. He achieved that in 1986, a season that also marked the first time he reached World Number One in the Official World Golf Ranking, which had begun at the start of that year.

Already a four-time Major champion at this stage, Ballesteros’ first win of 1986 came at the Dunhill British Masters at Woburn, where he beat England’s Gordon Brand Jr by two shots.

He followed it with three successive victories during an incredible purple patch - at the Carroll’s Irish Open, the Johnnie Walker Monte Carlo Open and the Peugeot Open de France – all of which coincidentally were two-stroke victories. He then closed out July with a convincing eight-stroke triumph over Jose Rivero at the Dutch KLM Open.

Seve’s final win of the year at the Lancome Trophy was a unique one in the history of the tour, because it’s a title he could not hold by himself. Both he and Bernard Langer had finished the tournament tied on 14 under par, and when the play-off was abandoned after four holes due to darkness, the pair decided to share the trophy.

Seve Ballesteros en route to victory at Woburn in 1986

Colin Montgomerie (1999)

Five official European Tour wins and one approved special event

Colin Montgomerie has 31 European Tour titles to his name, but his most successful season came in 1999, when he won five official Tour events and the Cisco World Match-Play Tournament.

Montgomerie was already a dominant force on the European Tour, having won six straight Order of Merit titles from 1993 to 1998, before he added a seventh in 1999.

His won his first title of that season at the Benson and Hedges International Open Oxfordshire by three shots, and quickly added wins at two further UK events – courtesy of a five stroke victory in the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth Club and a three shot win at the Standard Life Loch Lomond.

Although all five of his official Tour titles in the 1999 campaign were convincing, none were more so than at the Volvo Scandinavian Masters. With rounds of 67-67-65-69 at Barsebäck, Montgomerie finished the tournament at 20 under par, nine shots clear of nearest challenger Jesper Parnevik. It was the second time he had won that event, which he would win for a third time two years later.

He followed that with his sixth trophy of the year at the Cisco World Match Play Tournament, where he defeated defending champion Marc O’Meara 3&2.

Montgomerie match play 1999

Lee Westwood (2000)

Five official European Tour wins and one approved special event

Just a year after Montgomerie achieved his record season, Lee Westwood matched the remarkable feat with five tournament victories and his own win at the 2000 Cisco World Match Play Championship, ending Montgomerie’s historic reign at the top of the Order of Merit standings in the process.

Westwood, who recently became just the eighth player to win 25 times on Tour, started his most successful season to date with his tenth career victory at the Event Deutsche Bank - SAP Open – an event he also won in 1998.

From there he added the Compaq European Grand Prix at De Vere Slaley Hall, the Smurfit European Open at the K Club and the Volvo Scandinavian Masters at Kungsängen before beating Eduardo Romero by four shots to win the Belgacom Open at Royal Zoute.

Following in the footsteps of Montgomerie, Westwood then saw off the defending champion in the final of the Cisco World Match Play Championship to defeat the Scotsman on the second extra hole after the tie went to sudden death.

Westwood montgomerie 2000

Sir Nick Faldo (1992)

Four official European Tour wins and two approved special events

The six-time Major champion has won 31 European Tour titles, but the best season of his career came in 1992 – the same year he claimed his third Open Championship.

He won his first title of the year at the Carrolls Irish Open – his second of three consecutive wins in that particular event - but it was Faldo’s second victory at Muirfield that will be remembered as the stand-out of his 1992 season. He came into the Championship as the favourite, and took a three stroke lead into the weekend after breaking the 36-hole scoring record. But John Cook proved to be a serious contender on the final day as he moved into the lead, forcing Faldo to play ‘the best four holes of my life’, which included birdies at 15 and 17 before a closing par secured a hard-fought one stroke victory.

His next European Tour title followed just a couple of weeks later at the Scandinavian Masters, before the Englishman beat Robert Karlsson by three strokes to claim the GA European Open trophy.

In addition to those feats, Faldo staged a convincing 8&7 triumph over Jeff Sluman to claim the Toyota World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, and also beat Greg Norman in a play-off to win the Johnnie Walker World Championship.

Nick Faldo 1992 open

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