NEXT season’s European Tour – starting in South Africa on Thursday – will feature a minimum of 47 tournaments, including six new ones, and will once again culminate in the Dubai World Championship.
The season-ending event won by Lee Westwood three weeks ago had its prize fund and money list bonus pool cut by 25% because of the economic situation faced by the property developer sponsors. But the Tour announced yesterday there will be £9million up for grabs again at the Jumeirah Estates next November.
A notable absentee from the schedule is the European Open, which has been played every season since 1977 and has been at The London Club in Kent the last two years.
That had been backed by the same Leisurecorp company who were behind the Dubai World Championship.
The six new tournaments, however, are the Africa Open in South Africa, Avantha Masters in India, Hassan Trophy in Morocco, Open Cala Millor Mallorca in Majorca, the Vivendi at a venue yet to be announced and the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama.
This September the Vivendi Trophy was match play between a Britain and Ireland team and one from Continental Europe, but with the Ryder Cup taking place in October the event will be individual stroke play next season.
A date has yet to be fixed for the Volvo World Match Play won by Ross Fisher last month, but it will be on the same Finca Cortesin course in Spain.
Wentworth, its previous home, unveils its new look at the BMW PGA Championship in May. As well as changes to all the greens, the 18th now features a ditch short of the putting surface.
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