European Tour announces 48 events "minimum" for 2017

European Tour announces 48 events "minimum" for 2017
 Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive. Picture: Getty

Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive. Picture: Getty

The European Tour has announced its international schedule for the 2017 season, featuring minimum of 48 tournaments, one more than in 2016.

It will be headlined by the Rolex Series, an innovative alliance of tournaments each with a minimum prize fund of $7million, which comprises: the BMW PGA Championship (May 25-28), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation (July 6-9), the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (July 13-16), the Italian Open (October 12-15), the Turkish Airlines Open (November 2-5), the Nedbank Golf Challenge (November 9-12) and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (November 16-19), where the 2017 Race to Dubai champion will be crowned.

The 2017 schedule also features the return of three tournaments in new guises, the Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort from May 11-14, the Rocco Forte Open – Verdura in Sicily from May 18-21 and the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation from October 19-22.

The Rocco Forte Open – Verdura marks the European Tour’s return to Sicily for the first time since Dane Thorbjørn Olesen won at Verdura Golf and Spa Resort in 2012, while the tournament is also the first time luxury hotels and resorts group Rocco Forte Hotels has been a title sponsor of a European Tour event.
 
Sir Rocco Forte, Founder and Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, said: “I am delighted that Verdura Resort will be hosting the Rocco Forte Open – Verdura. Our Sicilian resort offers two 18-hole links golf courses designed by Kyle Phillips and is visited regularly by some of the most famous names in European golf. The resort is set along two kilometres of coastline so every hole has sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea. As an enthusiastic golfer myself, I will be sure to be there.”

The Andalucía Valderrama Masters returns to the revered Real Club Valderrama, the venue which hosted The 1997 Ryder Cup as well as the previous two editions of the Andalucía Masters in 2010 and 2011, won by Graeme McDowell and Sergio Garcia respectively. The latter player will take on the responsibility of tournament host on home soil in October on behalf of the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

Meanwhile, the Open de Portugal is back on the schedule after an absence of seven years following Thomas Bjørn’s victory at Penha Longa in 2010. It will be played at Morgado Golf Resort in Portimão.

Although only 47 tournaments are announced today, a further tournament will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The 2017 season promises to be a very significant one for the European Tour, with the start of the Rolex Series and the inclusion of three returning events in Portugal, Sicily and Spain, plus at least one more tournament to be confirmed shortly.

“That will give us 48 tournaments around the world, once again demonstrating the global footprint of the European Tour, while at the same time offering a wide range of playing opportunities for our members.”

THE 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULE

2016

December

  • Dec 1-4 Australian PGA Championship, RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • 1-4 Alfred Dunhill Championship, Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, South Africa
  • 8-11 UBS Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong GC, Fanling, Hong Kong

2017

January

  • 12-15 BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni, Glendower GC, Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 19-22 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Abu Dhabi GC, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 26-29 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Doha GC, Doha, Qatar

February

  • Feb 2-5 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Emirates GC, Dubai, UAE
  • 9-12 Maybank Championship, Saujana G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 16-19 World Super 6 Perth, Lake Karrinyup CC, Perth, Western Australia
  • 23-26 Joburg Open, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Johannesburg, South Africa

March

  • Mar 2-5 WGC - Mexico Championship, Chapultepec GC, Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2-5 Tshwane Open, Pretoria CC, Waterkloof, South Africa
  • 9-12 Hero Indian Open, DLF G&CC, New Delhi, India
  • 16-19 TBC
  • 22-26 WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play, Austin CC, Austin, Texas, USA

April

  • Apr 6-9 THE MASTERS, Augusta National GC, Georgia, USA
  • 13-16 Trophee Hassan II, Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Red Course, Rabat, Morocco
  • 20-23 Shenzhen International, Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China
  • 27-30 Volvo China Open, Topwin G&CC, Beijing, China

May

  • May 4-7 TBC
  • 11-14 Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort, Morgado Golf Resort, Portimão, Portugal
  • 18-21 The Rocco Forte Open - Verdura, Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
  • 25-28 BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, England

June

  • Jun 1-4 Nordea Masters, Barsebäck G&CC, Malmö, Sweden
  • 8-11 Lyoness Open powered by Sporthilfe Cashback Card, Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, near Vienna, Austria
  • 15-18 US OPEN, Erin Hills GC, Wisconsin, USA
  • 22-25 BMW International Open, Golfclub München Eichenried, Munich, Germany
  • 29-2 Jul Open de France, Le Golf National, Paris, France

July

  • Jul 6-9 DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH OPEN HOSTED BY THE RORY FOUNDATION, Portstewart GC, Co. Londonderry, N.Ireland
  • 13-16 AAM SCOTTISH OPEN, Dundonald Links, Gailes, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • 20-23 146th OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, Royal Birkdale, Southport, Merseyside, England
  • 27-30 Porsche European Open, Green Eagle Golf Courses, Hamburg, Germany

August

  • Aug 3-6 WGC - Bridgestone Invitational, Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio, USA
  • 10-13 US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N. Carolina, USA
  • 17-20 Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play, Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, Bad Griesbach, Germany
  • 17-20 Fiji International, Natadola Bay GC, Natadola, Fiji
  • 24-27 Made In Denmark, Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, Farsoe, Denmark
  • 31-3 Sept D+D Real Czech Masters, Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic

September

  • Sep 7-10 Omega European Masters, Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland
  • 14-17 KLM Open, The Dutch, Spijk, The Netherlands
  • 21-24 Portugal Masters, Oceânico Victoria GC, Vilamoura, Portugal
  • 28-1 Oct British Masters supported by Sky Sports, Close House GC, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

October

  • Oct 5-8 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns, Scotland
  • 12-15 ITALIAN OPEN, TBA
  • 19-22 Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain
  • 26-29 WGC - HSBC Champions , TBA

November

  • Nov 2-5 TURKISH AIRLINES OPEN, Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya, Turkey 
  • 9-12 NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE, Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa
  • 16-19 DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, DUBAI, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE