Euro­pean Tour sched­ule pro­vides for big fin­ish

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

THE PGA Cham­pi­onship mov­ing to May might have pro­vided a strong fin­ish­ing kick to the Euro­pean Tour sea­son.

The Euro­pean Tour re­leased a sched­ule for next year that still in­volves 31 coun­tries on five con­ti­nents with 48 tour­na­ments, even if they are a lit­tle out of or­der. The biggest change was mov­ing its flag­ship event, the BMW PGA Cham­pi­onship at Went­worth, from May to Septem­ber.

Went­worth would have been one week af­ter the PGA Cham­pi­onship. Now it is Sept. 19-22 and kicks off a stretch that in­cludes the pop­u­lar Dun­hill Links Cham­pi­onship a week later, a Rolex Se­ries event at the Ital­ian Open, the French Open at Le Golf Na­tional, a World Golf Cham­pi­onships event in Shang­hai and the fi­nal three Rolex Se­ries events (Turkey, South Africa, Dubai) that con­clude the Race to Dubai.

The French Open is no longer a Rolex Se­ries event (with a $7 mil­lion purse) and has been moved from the heart of the con­ti­nen­tal Euro­pean sched­ule in early sum­mer to a fall date in Oc­to­ber. The Ir­ish Open at Lahinch and the Scot­tish Open at The Re­nais­sance Club next to Muir­field lead into the Bri­tish Open at Royal Portrush.

Abu Dhabi takes over as a Rolex Se­ries event and will be the first event of 2019 (Jan. 16-19). It will be fol­lowed by Dubai and a new tour­na­ment called the Saudi In­ter­na­tional, where Dustin Johnson, Pa­trick Reed and Paul Casey are ex­pected to play.

An­other new event is the Kenya Open, which has been up­graded from a Chal­lenge Tour event and will be the same week as The Play­ers Cham­pi­onship.

The Euro­pean Tour also added the Vic Open, a PGA Tour of Aus­tralasian event in which men and women com­pete on the same course for the same prize money.

It also man­aged to save the Bri­tish Mas­ters, which Tommy Fleet­wood will host at Hill­side Golf Club next door to Royal Birk­dale.

The Euro­pean Tour re­mains the most global golf cir­cuit. Just over half — 16 of 31 — of the coun­tries it vis­its are in Europe. Be­cause of the ma­jors and World Golf Cham­pi­onships, the coun­try that has the most Euro­pean Tour events on the sched­ule is the United States. – AP

Photo: AP

Xan­der Schauf­fele of the United States poses with the tro­phy near the golf course staff af­ter win­ning the HSBC Cham­pi­ons golf tour­na­ment held at the She­shan In­ter­na­tional Golf Club in Shang­hai on Sun­day.

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