A six-week run in England and Wales that includes three brand new events has been announced, as well as a revamped Rolex Series
Golf’s worst-kept secret of the past two weeks has been revealed after the European Tour confirmed it will return with a UK swing – and it includes three new events.
The Tour’s chief executive Keith Pelley confirmed in a teleconference with journalists on Thursday that the six-week run will begin at Close House, near Newcastle, for the British Masters – a week earlier than originally planned and held from Wednesday to Saturday.
It will then move south to Forest of Arden, near Birmingham, before heading to Hanbury Manor, in Hertfordshire. There will then be an unprecedented two-week run at Celtic Manor, the 2010 Ryder Cup host venue in Newport, which will host back-to-back events in August, before concluding at another former Ryder Cup venue, the Belfry.
The bad news, for fans at least, is that all six events will be played behind closed doors, though will be broadcast on Sky Sports.
The British Masters will continue to carry a €2 million purse, while the other four will be competed for €1 million in prize money.
The European Tour also announced a revamped Rolex Series that will include the Scottish Open at Renaissance and BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth as well as the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa and DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in December, where the Race to Dubai champion will be crowned.
Pelley confirmed a second wave of events – including the Dunhill Links Championship and Irish Open – will be announced in due course.
The European Tour also revealed its ‘Golf for Good’ initiative that will see £500,000 donated in the UK swing, with the five venues given £50,000 each for local charities, while the other £250,000 will be split across a mini Order of Merit for players to donate as they wish.
European Tour UK swing:
July 22-25: British Masters, Close House
July 30-August 2: English Open, Forest of Arden
August 6-9: English Championship, Hanbury Manor
August 13-16: Celtic Classic, Celtic Manor
August 20-23: Wales Open, Celtic Manor
August 27-30: UK Championship, The Belfry
European Tour Rolex Series:
October 8-11: Scottish Open, The Renaissance
October 15-18: BMW PGA Championship, Wentworth
December 3-6: Nedbank Golf Challenge, Gary Player CC
December 10-13: DP World Tour Championship, Jumeirah Golf Estates
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