The European Tour has announced the initial sector of its 2015 International Schedule, featuring new tournaments in Thailand and India, which further highlight the global appeal of The Race to Dubai.
Taking place from February 12-15, 2015, the inaugural Thailand Classic joins The Race to Dubai for the first time, eight years after The European Tour last visited the country for the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic in Phuket.
A week later, the Hero Indian Open will also make its debut on The Race to Dubai, with The European Tour co-sanctioning both of these new events with the Asian Tour, underlining the strength of the long-term relationship between the two Tours. They form part of a three week run on Asian soil in February, with the Maybank Malaysian Open, at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, moving from April to the earlier slot of February 5-8, as the event celebrates its tenth anniversary with the same title sponsor.
Following the crowning of this year’s Race to Dubai Champion at the conclusion of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai on November 23, the launch of the 2015 season will take place a fortnight later, with the lucrative Nedbank Golf Challenge, at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, from December 4-7.
It will be followed by the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club, in Malelane, from December 11-14, with The European Tour remaining in South Africa after the Christmas break for the South African Open Championship, from January 8-11, which returns to Glendower Golf Club, in Johannesburg, for the second consecutive season.
From South Africa, the action then moves to the Middle East for the traditional ‘Desert Swing’, which begins with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which marks its tenth anniversary at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, from January 15-18.
The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters returns to Doha Golf Club for an 19th consecutive year from January 21-24, and will once again have a Saturday finish, before the three-tournament stretch in the Middle East concludes with the 26th staging of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club, from January 29-Febuary 1.
Following the new Asian swing at the start of February, The European Tour returns to South Africa at the end of the month for the Joburg Open, from February 26-March 1, which returns to Royal Johannnesburg & Kensington Golf Club for the ninth consecutive year.
That is followed by the Africa Open, from March 5-8, which marks its sixth staging at East London Golf Club, in Eastern Cape, and the third edition of the Tshwane Open at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate, from March 12-15.
With the first World Golf Championship event of the year, the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral, in Florida, also taking place from March 5-8, The European Tour will visit three different continents during that month, as the Madeira Islands Open (March 19-22) marks the first event of 2015 on European soil at Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra, followed by a return to Africa for the Trophée Hassan II (March 26-29) at Golf du Palais Royal in Morocco.
The initial sector then concludes with the season’s first Major Championship, the Masters Tournament at Augusta National from April 9-12, where the current 2014 Race to Dubai Number One, Rory McIlroy, will lead the European Tour challenge as he bids for a third straight Major victory to complete a Career Grand Slam.
Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy, said: “The initial part of The 2015 Race to Dubai once again demonstrates the global appeal of The European Tour, with the familiar swings in South Africa and the Desert, allied to a new date for the Maybank Malaysian Open, and the introduction of two new events, in Thailand and India.
“The early sector is a period when we continue our strong relationships with both the Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour which, as we previously announced, will be further underlined later in the 2015 campaign when the three Tours come together for the first time to tri-sanction the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at the start of May.
“Our thanks, as always, go to our Federation and co-sanctioning partners, sponsors and promoters for their continued support of The European Tour, and we can all look forward to a strong opening to The 2015 Race to Dubai, which will appeal to our membership as well as the many followers of The European Tour around the world.”
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