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Photo of the Year 2019 presented by Maui Jim
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Photo of the Year 2019 presented by Maui Jim

After another superb year we’ve selected the finest 24 photos from the 2019 European Tour season.

Shane Lowry Open new

In an advent-style countdown, we'll not only be highlighting the top 24 pictures, but we'll hear from each photographer about the story and situation captured in each photo.

This article will be updated each day until December 25th and you can also tune in via social media using the hashtag #ETPhotoOfTheYear. Get in touch via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and tell us what you think of each of the selections.

Number 24: Crans Montana from the air

24 web photo new new2

Photographer: Ru Macdonald/European Tour

"It's not every day you get to paraglide to work. When the event organisers asked if our Media Team wanted to try paragliding early on Saturday morning, the European Tour's social media editor couldn't miss the chance to picture the course from the air."

Number 23: Mauritius

Photograph of the year 232

Photographer: Warren Little/Getty Images

"While working at the course I came across this view of the mountain range behind the 15th green. I really like the tropical feel of the image, with the palm trees set against those blue skies with puffy clouds. But the mountain range with its distinctive shape really captivates the feel of being on the island and I was happy to be able to capture the course against its amazing natural beauty."

Number 22: Driving in Dubai

Photograph of the year MJ 22 Fleetwood2

Photographer: David Cannon/Getty Images

"This particular shot is taken from probably the most iconic tee on the European Tour. I particularly love the impact position, but I always find myself reflecting how having covered every single Omega Dubai Desert Classic the skyline and the city of Dubai have changed in thirty years. I think it is fair to say that the game of golf, Emirates Golf Club, and the European Tour have contributed immeasurably to the development of this extraordinary region. Golf is so much more than a sport."

Number 21: Dialled into Rory

Rory McIlroy photo of the year 212

Photographer: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

"Whilst waiting on the first tee of the final day I saw the crowds with all of their phones trying to get a photo of Rory. This reminded me of an image of Tiger Woods playing in Japan the week before where there was hardly a phone in site as Tiger made a putt. I wanted to show the contrast between the two events."

Number 20: Abu Dhabi rising sun

Photo of the year number 20

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

"I like the subject to be identifiable, especially when it’s a silhouette. I want people to be able to have a good idea who the picture is of when they look at it. The players warm up under floodlights on the range at Abu Dhabi Golf Club as the sun hasn’t risen when they start their preparation. The layout of the range has the players hitting directly into the rising sun. It pays to be patient as the best frames come along a little later, but the sun soon gets a little too high. I like to pick my subject and work quickly before the moment is gone."

Number 19: Ho-sung's swing

Photo of the year number 19

Photographer: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

"This is the first picture I took during the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, which for me was a very special event. The week had several firsts, one of which was photographing Ho-sung Choi. He is a special character to say the least. Entertaining in a very unique way. It seems that no two swings are really the same, but some how he does find a way of getting the ball around the golf course. And as no two swings were the same, I had a lot of opportunity for different pictures. Many people throughout the week followed and supported Mr Choi. Kenya is special and so too is Mr Choi, recently he was won an event which only goes to show that is not how you swing, only how many shots you need."

Number 18: Sergio in the sky

Photo of the year number 18

Photographer: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

"Following Sergio at the KLM Open was a joy. As a sports photographer every now and then you see an athlete hit form that stands out from the rest, and Sergio was in that form during this event. At Getty Images we always want the athlete to stand out from the background, and here I found the logo free side of a sponsor board. I wanted to use it and lucky enough Sergio placed his ball down to tee off in the perfect spot for my photo. I was happy with the image mainly as it looks almost like he was superimposed on a fake blue sky, but this is straight out of the camera."

Number 17: Rory in Crans

Photograph of the year MJ 172

Photographer: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

“This photo was taken during the second day of the 80th Omega European Masters, which is an event I have always enjoyed working at. Rory had absolutely bombed it down this hole and had an eagle putt. What I like most about this picture is that it is so typically Swiss. The mountains in the background, the blue sky with some nice clouds, and chalets. This year especially there seemed to be a lot more flowers on the balconies.”

Number 16: JT on the Links

Photograph of the year MJ 162

Photographer: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

"I followed Justin for his round at Carnousite during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, and he was having fun out there. There was a heavy shower but he still seemed to be light-hearted and seeing the fun side. I loved how even in rain and waterproofs, he still looks cool."

Number 15: Lawlor makes history

Photograph of the year MJ 152

Photographer: Kevin C.Cox/Getty Images

"My assignment was to cover the final hole of competition for the EDGA Scottish Open - the first event of its kind on the European Tour. I positioned myself high up in the grandstands of the 18th hole during the final round so that I could capture many moments of these amazing athletes playing from the fairway, chipping around the green, putting and shaking hands. In this frame, I was able to capture a handshake between the EDGA Scottish Open champion Brendan Lawlor and Christopher Biggins after they finished their round."

Number 14: Rahm in full flow

Photograph of the year MJ 142

Photographer: Luke Walker/Getty Images

"Taking pictures of Jon Rahm in Spain is great, from the crowds that follow him, to the way he plays his golf, he creates a lot of emotion and a fantastic vibe. Jon is a powerful man and this image on the top of his back swing really captures this power."

Number 13: Fitzpatrick mimics Seve

Photograph of the year MJ 13 Fitz2

Photographer: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

"In this image Matt has a very unusual stance. The moment was made funny by his caddie Billy Foster, who said at the time 'who do you think you are, Seve?' Billy was once Seve's caddie, so he should know that they are the only two players to have won this event, the Omega European Masters, back to back."

Number 12: Bryson in the bunker

Photograph of the year MJ Bryson2

Photographer: David Cannon/Getty Images

"Emirates Golf Club is arguably the golf photographer’s finest studio in the world. Every hole gives you something. This was the case when Bryson DeChambeau hit his tee shot on the 12th hole way left and actually found a lucky escape route from the desert. I also found a lucky angle to grab this shot between two large scrub bushes as he exploded from the sand."

Number 11: Spot the golfer

Photograph of the year MJ new 112

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

"The par four 17th is the signature hole at DLF Golf and Country Club in India, and it’s not difficult to see why. The green is there but as your second shot plays dramatically up hill it’s takes a bit of spotting. Hidden away among hundreds of giant rocks it's a little easier to pick out the pin if you're able to see the group in front. If not you had better trust your caddie!"

Number 10: Wallace on the Irish links

Photograph of the year MJ new 102

Photographer: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

"This image was taken during the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club. The golf course layout is a photographer's dream and the seventh tee box gives so many angles to photograph. I shot this wide to show how exposed the players are to the elements on the tee box. Thanks to Matt’s bright outfit on an overcast day he is not lost as the subject in the frame."

Number 9: Bernd by the beach

Photograph of the year MJ Bernd2

Photographer: Kevin C.Cox/Getty Images

"I was covering the last couple of groups of leaders playing through the scenic area on the front nine of The Renaissance Club during the final round. The fairway of the fourth hole had a beautiful view of the sea and if a player hit his drive in the right area, I could line up behind him and use the view of the sea and the castle across the way. I had also noticed a cargo ship moving slowly far off in the background and had hoped for it to line up in an ideal area to add a little extra element to an image. Well, all the pieces just happened to come together at the right moment as Bernd Wiesberger played his second shot. Luckily for me, he also ended up winning the tournament so the picture was a lot more meaningful."

Number 8: Those Irish crowds

Photograph of the year MJ 82

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

"If there were awards given out for the best crowds and best supported golf events then the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open would have a huge trophy cabinet. The players themselves love playing in front of the Irish galleries, they are golf mad, wonderfully enthusiastic and perfectly behaved. I was looking for the best places around Lahinch Golf Club to showcase the links and the fans. There were plenty of opportunities but the dunes around the par three fifth hole was one of my favourite spots."

Number 7: Tiger the artist

Photograph of the year number 7 Tiger2

Photographer: David Cannon/Getty Images

"Throughout his career Tiger has amazed the world of golf with his ability to conjure simply extraordinary golf shots from seemingly any position on a golf course. I walked past Tiger's ball in this fairway bunker and decided this picture was going to be all about the glorious afternoon light Tiger was finishing his round in. Little was I to know that somehow he would mange to bend his nine iron second shot almost 60 yards up and around the large trees that faced him, land the ball on the side of the green pin high and screw the ball sideways almost 40 feet, barely missing the hole."

Number 6: Under the lights in Turkey

Hatton POTY night golf turkey2

Photographer: Warren Little/Getty Images

"One of my favourite images of the year - the finish of the Turkish Airlines Open was a stunner. A six-man play-off in the dark, it was epic. I was lucky as when it grew dark Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf Club had on course lights which set the scene to the best close to an event I can remember. It was an epic duel and this historic image of Tyrrell Hatton playing into the 18th green for the final time as the moon rises in the sky is one of my most special moments of the year."

Number 5: Rose by the beach

Photograph of the year MJ Rose 52

Photographer: David Cannon/Getty Images

"This fairway gives the photographer a wonderful landscape to play with. Pebble Beach has one of the world's most stunning stretches of seaside holes - from the fourth to the tenth the course borders the Pacific Ocean. The par four ninth hole has the most wonderful view looking down onto Carmel Beach and quite often we are lucky with players leaving the ball like Justin did in the perfect spot. Annoyingly it was cloudy for almost the entire week which would have given the picture that extra little bit!"

Number 4: Van Rooyen let's it all out

Photograph of the year EVR celebration2

Photographer: Luke Walker/Getty Images

"This is a special image to me, as I have been taking pictures of my fellow country man since he first turned Pro in South Africa. To be able to capture his first win on the European Tour is something I will always remember."

Number 3: A champion's walk

Photograph of the year MJ Shane 12

Photographer: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

"The overriding feel to The Open weekend at Portrush was focused on the fact an Irishman could win The Open on the island or Ireland, specially since it hadn’t been held there since 1951. As it became apparent that Shane was about to do it, I was keen to try and show what it meant to not just Shane but to the whole of Ireland. It helped enormously that the tradition of opening up the 72nd hole to spectators was continued and it meant that, whilst the focus of the image is very much on our magnificent Champion, his joy is magnified but that of his cheering fellow Irishmen."

Number 2: Tiger roars at Augusta

2019 Tiger MJ Photo2

Photographer: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

"I had the amazing privilege of following Tiger for most of the back nine at Augusta on that Sunday and, while a big part of me was rooting for Francesco Molinari, the atmosphere with Tiger was incredible. I had to scurry to my chair on the 18th green as soon as Tiger hit his tee shot and then waited as the rest of it played out. My three Getty Images colleagues and I had the green surrounded so we knew we would capture what happened next. As he tapped in a short putt to secure victory he gave a little subdued fist pump whilst looking at the ground and I remember thinking “is that it?” Then, he exploded with emotion so quickly that I wasn’t even sure I had pressed the button. Fortunately I had…"

Number 1: We did it

MJ Photo 12

Photographer: David Cannon/Getty Images

"What can I say? Growing up watching the Open Championship on television in the 1970s and early 1980s I always marveled at the champion elect bursting through the crowds on the final hole. None more so than the images of the young Severiano Ballesteros breaking through the ecstatic crowds on the final hole at Royal Lytham in 1979. This moment matched that iconic moment! What a winner Ireland got. I'll never forget the noise as Shane broke through as the wonderful Irish crowds had broken the modern health and safety protocol swarming up the final fairway. This gave me the chance to grab my favourite moment of 2019."

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