Scotland’s David Drysdale reached an historic milestone at this week’s Hero Open, the second event on the European Tour’s UK Swing, as the veteran teed it up in his 500th tournament on the European Tour.
The 45-year-old joins an elite club in becoming just the 43rd player in European Tour history to reach 500 appearances.
Drysdale, whose wife Vickie travels with him as his caddie, made his debut on the tour in 1999 at the Scottish PGA Championship, and following the experience of a full season on the Challenge Tour in 2001, earned his European Tour card for the first time through Qualifying School later that year.
That would be his first of four successful trips to the European Tour’s Q-School, while he graduated through the Challenge Tour in 2004 following a season which yielded his maiden professional victory at the season-ending Grand Final.
His second Challenge Tour victory came at the 2006 Peugeot Challenge in Spain, during a season which he split between the European Tour and the Challenge Tour.
Drysdale’s best campaign undoubtedly came in 2008, when he finished 48th in the Race to Dubai, his highest career finish. He also rose to become the highest-ranked Scot in the Official World Golf Ranking during that season, as well as representing his country at the World Cup alongside Alastair Forsyth.
He has had many close calls in his chase for a maiden European Tour victory, none more so than at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in March of this year, where he was beaten by Jorge Campillo on the fifth play-off hole.
Drysdale said: “It’s kind of strange to reach this milestone, it means I’m getting old I guess. 500 events is tough to get your head round. I don’t think I’ll catch Miguel, he’s got the record today. But I’ll keep playing as long as I stay fit, a few more years I hope.
“I am very proud. It has been 20 years of travelling the world and playing golf. It is not something you set out to achieve when you start playing professionally to play 500 events on the European Tour, but it is a fantastic achievement and I hope for many more.
“She has helped me massively and has been on the bag now for four seasons. Vicky did travel with me a good few years before she started caddying. You know what Scots can be like, being a little bit negative, but she is so upbeat and positive all the time and she has been fantastic the last couple of years.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “Many congratulations to David on reaching such a significant milestone on the European Tour. When you think of the thousands of players who have competed on the European Tour over the past 48 years, to be only the 43rd to reach 500 appearances is a truly remarkable achievement. It is testament to his consistency and something of which he should be rightly proud.”